| 29 February 2024, Thursday |

Global warming could cost poor countries trillions, delegates warn

A well-known developing-nation leader on climate change suggested on Monday that global levies on the shipping, oil and gas, and financial services sectors might raise hundreds of billions of dollars to help less developed nations adapt to and deal with climate change.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados centered her speech on how less wealthy nations could pay the enormous expenses of adapting to climate change, lessening its effects in the future, and covering losses and damage incurred when natural disasters like heat waves, forest fires, and floods tear through communities.

The UN climate summit known as COP28 put its attention Monday on how developing countries could possibly pay trillions of dollars that experts say they will need to cope with global warming.

“This has probably been the most progress we’ve seen in the last 12 months on finance,” Mottley told reporters about pledges to fund the transition to clean energy, adapt to climate change and respond to extreme weather events.

“But we’re not where we need to be yet,” she said.

World Bank President Ajay Banga laid out five target areas in climate finance.

His bank wants to lower methane emissions from waste management and farming; help Africa with greener energies; support “voluntary” carbon markets such as for forest projects; and allow developing countries hit by natural disasters to pause debt repayments.

The multilateral development bank, above all, wants to boost its role in climate finance in short order.

“Forty-five percent of our financing will go to climate by 2025,” Banga said, with have going to adapting to the warming climate and the other half on slashing emissions.

“We cannot make climate only be about emissions. It has to be about the downstream impact that the Global South is facing from the emission-heavy growth that we have enjoyed in other parts of the world.”

That alluded to a major theme in climate talks: Developing nations are especially vulnerable to climate catastrophes, but far less responsible for global warming than industrialized countries, which have been belching carbon into the atmosphere for generations as they grew richer — and that excess greenhouse gas in the air has trapped heat near the Earth.

Small island nations have been pushing for climate finance in the negotiations, saying it’s vital for countries to be able to adapt to rising seas encroaching onto their land.

Cedric Schuster, the minister for natural resources of Samoa, said he’s optimistic that the climate talks could make headway on the finance issue, but urged that countries are still a long way off where they need to be.

Schuster, who’s also chair of the Alliance of Small Island states, said Samoans “want to be assured that they will survive … Their trust in us is to be here, to amplify their voices and for the world to understand the outcome of their concerns and for us to make sure the right global decisions are made.”

  • alarabiya