Developed countries were urged to honor their pledge to deliver financial and technological assistance to developing countries to address climate change at the Leaders Summit on Climate held via video link on Thursday.
“Developed states must deliver on public climate finance, including the long-promised 100 billion U.S. dollars for climate action in developing countries, at the G7 Summit in June,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the summit hosted by the White House.
“This is critical for trust and collective action,” he said. Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness said it is critical that developed countries honor their pledge of 100 billion dollars a year for climate action in developing countries.
“While increasing the quantities of finance is necessary, it will not be sufficient to address the needs of small island developing states unless it is accessible, flexibly enough to target support for all vulnerabilities,” Holness said.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa also called on developed countries to provide aid to developing countries, specifically for climate change.
The aid on climate change “should be provided separately and should not be a part of conventional development assistance,” said Ramaphosa, noting the poorer countries are paying the price of the emissions created by richer countries.
“When it is given in the form of loan financing, the debt burden of developing countries is worsened,” Ramaphosa said, urging developed economies to meet their responsibilities to developing economies. “Now is the moment for the signal to be unequivocal,” said Marshall Islands President David Kabua, whose country is threatened by sea-level rise.
“Too often, vulnerable countries hear the excuse that state emission cuts are too costly, but political signals, especially from the major economies, shape decisions on investment and innovation for low-carbon pathways,” Kabua said.
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said immediate and ambitious action plan should be taken by developed countries to reduce their carbon emissions to keep the global temperature rise at 1.5 degree Celsius and the developing nations should also focus on mitigation measures.
“Major economies, international financial institutions and private sectors should come forward for concessional climate financing as well as innovation,” Hasina said.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo said the global partnership must be strengthened to achieve the goal of the Paris Agreement and the next joint agenda.
“Developing countries will achieve a similar ambition if the commitment of developed countries is credible with real support. Support and respect for commitments from developed countries are necessary,” he said.
Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi said the price of forest carbon credits should be raised to at least 100 U.S. dollars per ton in order to achieve the climate objectives set out in the Paris Agreement.
Tshisekedi said the current price of 5 dollars per ton was neither fair nor realistic, and achieving carbon neutrality would not be possible without taking into account the conservation and regeneration of forests.
At the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009, developing countries were promised 100 billion dollars a year in climate finance starting from 2020 to help them lower their emissions, adapt to the effects of climate change and offset the costs of limiting their reliance on fossil fuels. But that commitment, repeated in the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement, was not met last year.