Data published on Thursday shows that two years after the deadline, the totemic promise by rich countries to provide $100bn (£80bn) a year to the poor world in climate finance has finally been met.
Based on OECD preliminary data made available by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, about $89.6bn was provided to developing countries in 2021 and that sum was likely to have exceeded $100bn in 2022.
The 2021 figure, the data shows, was an 8% increase from $83bn in 2020, which was at the upper end of OECD estimates, giving the organisation confidence that the figure for 2022 was more than $100bn (although not all of the climate finance for last year can yet be counted).
The amount delivered this year will almost certainly also be greater than $100bn, according to the report.
The pledge of $100bn a year, intended to help poor countries cut their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the effects of the climate crisis, was first made in 2009 at the Copenhagen climate summit. Rich countries at that time promised that the amount would be delivered by 2020, but for several years it was apparent that this deadline would be missed.
That failure has been a source of tension in global climate talks. Poor countries have accused the rich of being untrustworthy, while rich countries have pleaded difficulties with mobilising grants and loans. Showing that the promise has been met should be a significant boost for the Cop28 UN climate talks, which start in two weeks’ time, in Dubai.
Steven Guilbeault, who is the climate and environment minister of Canada, which along with Germany was charged by the UN with coordinating progress on climate finance before Cop28, said: “[The previous failure to meet the target] showed countries like Canada and other developed countries were not serious. Having this information [showing] that we have met the goal is a very important milestone … [It] goes a long way to building the momentum we need to deliver a successful outcome in Dubai.”
But rich countries also conceded that they had to do much more.
In her reaction, Jennifer Morgan, who is a climate envoy for Germany, said: “This is an important step forward, but it’s clear we can’t stop here. We will require coordinated efforts by a whole range of actors [to ensure more finance in the future].”
Ani Dasgupta, president of the World Resources Institute thinktank, said: “Developed countries’ failure to fully deliver on the $100bn goal by 2020 has been a dark cloud over the UN climate negotiations, eroding trust and stymying progress. News that the long overdue goal has likely been met is a very welcome ray of sunshine. This will help rebuild much-needed trust between developing and developed countries, which will go a long way toward achieving a positive outcome at Cop28.”
Many countries expect developed nations to make up the shortfalls to the $100bn goal in 2020 and 2021, in the short term.
Story was adapted from the Guardian.