Developing countries need up to 8x more funds to fight climate change

New Delhi: In the fight against climate change, there is an urgent need to make more public funds available to developing countries through significant reforms in the international taxation regime, according to the latest State of Finance in India report.

The report highlights the failure of the international community to live up to the promises made more than a decade ago to deliver the required finance to combat climate change.

This is essential to help mitigate carbon emissions, support adaptation to inevitable climate change and compensate vulnerable countries for the loss and damage caused by the ongoing climate change.

To meet the assessed needs, annual flows of climate finance would have to rise 4 to 8 times in developing countries, and 2 to 5 times in developed countries, the report states.

The biennial assessments of climate finance flows from the UNFCCC and the IPCCC’s Special Report on Global Warming has estimated the funds required to contain global temperature rise at $1.7 trillion a year between 2020 and 2030.

Discussions at the international level to arrive at a new collective quantifiable goal are proceeding at a very slow pace, the report states.

Meanwhile, public financing is resulting in the accumulation of a limited fund to support North-South financial transfers.

According to OECD estimates, public funding for climate finance increased from $38 billion which was 72.5 per cent of the total in 2013, to $68.3 billion in 2020 which constitutes as much as 82 per cent of the total.

The report points out that in the most recent pledging conference, held on October 5, or the replenishment of the Green Climate Fund, the sums committed had reached only $9.3 billion from 24 countries.

This has fallen short of the $10.3 billion that was pledged by 45 countries when the fund was created and the $10 billion commitment by 32 countries in the first replenishment.

The report is of the view that in order to divert attention from the failure of the rich countries to provide adequate financing, emphasis is being laid on attracting large amount from the private sector to fight climate change.

However, since the private sector is guided by the profit motive and will avoid investing in areas of low returns or which pose a risk to their investments this is not likely to come through.

The report cites past evidence to highlight the poor performance of the private sector. The emphasis has to be on public financing if headway has to be made in fighting climate change, the report concludes.

The report comes out in favour of establishing accountable institutions capable of allocating public funds to combat global warming.

This requires significant reforms in international taxation to provide more fiscal space to developing countries, the report adds.

IANS

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