Discussions at COP26 focus on climate finance

On Monday, Governments are scheduled to push for an agreement to help vulnerable countries deal with global warming and compensate them for damages that have already occurred, in what is likely to be a test whether rich nations and developing countries can end the standoff over cash and transfer of technology to mitigate the effects of climate change.

At the start of this crucial week in the U.N. climate talks in Glasgow, government ministers are set to iron out the burrs in the nitty gritty of trying to honor earlier pledges to pay for climate-linked losses and damages and addressing questions on how best to help nations to adapt to the effects of this global calamity.

Britain, which is hosting the COP26 meeting, will likely to set the pace with an announcement of $391 million (290 million pounds) in new funding, including support for countries in the Asia Pacific to mitigate the impact of global warming.

This is on top of the “billions in additional international funding” already committed by rich countries which includes the United states, Denmark, Japan for adaption and resilience to vulnerable nations, many of whom have experienced the worst effects of climate change.

While developing countries have asked for more funds to help adapt to higher temperatures which have caused frequent droughts, floods and wildfires, richer countries have encouraged financing which help slash emissions.

“We must act now to stop climate change from pushing more people into poverty. We know that climate impacts disproportionately affect those already most vulnerable,” said Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who was appointed by the British government to focus on adaptation and resilience.

She went on to add, “We are aiming for significant change that will ultimately contribute to sustainable development and a climate resilient future for all, with no one left behind,”

While earlier discussions revolved around pledges with developing nations saying developed countries failed to keep their promises, Monday’s session will focus on arguments on “how to deal with adaptation, loss and damage”.

Twelve years ago, at a UN climate conference, developed countries had pledged to contribute $100 billion a year by 2020 to help developing countries adapt to climate change. 

Since the target was missed, developing nations are a little skeptical of pledges made by rich countries at COP26. Developed countries have however said they will meet their earlier goal by 2023 at the latest.

Richer countries face the dilemma on how they should compensate less developed countries for damages and losses caused by historic emissions, a grey area where concrete pledges are yet to be made.

“Now it is time for governments and donors to level up on equitable finance and plans for loss and damage and for adaptation,” said Emily Bohobo N’Dombaxe Dola, facilitator of the Adaptation Working Group of the official youth constituency to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in a statement.

($1 = 0.7414 pounds)

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