The UN secretary-general, António Guterres, has announced that the richest countries will not meet their financial obligations arising from the Paris Agreement to help poorer states to deal with global warming in 2020.
In line with the Paris Agreement, developed countries were supposed to donate at least US$100 billion in financial assistance to help developing countries to tackle climate change by the end of 2020. However, Guterres warned that this obligation will most definitely not be fulfilled.
The money was intended to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions as well as mitigate the effects of climate changes in underdeveloped states. Guterres emphasized that the failure of rich countries to fulfill their obligation to the poorest will significantly undermine the credibility of the former.
Guterres said: “It is clear we are not yet there [on the US$100 billion target]. In 2020 this will not happen. All the indications I have are that in 2020 we will be below that level of support from the developed world to the developing countries in climate finance both for mitigation of emissions and adaptation to the impacts of climate change], from public and private sources.”
The UN secretary judges the lack of promised funds to be a step backwards which may significantly complicate the ability to reach a compromise during next year’s climate summit COP26 to be held in Glasgow, UK.
The goal of these climate talks is to prompt every country to prepare and introduce plans that would enable the increase in global temperatures to be held below 2C and, in a somewhat more ambitious scenario, even to hold temperatures below 1.5C which scientists believe to be the essential threshold to avoid devastating natural disasters in the future that may impact upon humanity.
The UN is working on a report to estimate how far off target the climate financing from rich countries currently is.
Although the richest countries are the biggest contributors to global warming, nevertheless the poorest pay for the impacts of climate change the most, as the majority of them are located in the global south which is predominantly affected by natural disasters triggered by the rise in global temperatures.
According to the World Research Institute, the world’s TOP three GHG emitters are China, EU, and the US with 41.5% of total global emissions. At the same time, the bottom 100 countries only account for only 3.6% of GHG emissions.
Global warming has caused droughts, hurricanes, and poor harvests in Central America and sub-Saharan Africa which has fueled violence and instability, forcing millions of people to leave their homes.
Furthermore, as stated in a study conducted by Stanford University, climate changes increase the global income inequality between rich and poor countries and the hotter states are always the losers.
Therefore, the raising of global temperatures makes the poor even poorer, increasing their need for humanitarian aid and thus creates a vicious circle resulting in a less financial effort to tackle climate changes in order for more funding to be available to deal with famine and poverty in the future.