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UK, Canada, Germany green light billions for developing nations ahead of COP26

25 October 2021 Cristina Brooks

A trio of G20 members announced plans to provide $100 billion in climate finance to developing nations annually ahead of Paris Agreement signatories' "last-ditch" conference in Glasgow next week.

In August, the UN's Secretary General António Guterres raised the stakes for the Paris Agreement parties' upcoming conference by suggesting an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change study showed their efforts were inadequate, and they were on track to fail to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.

The UK minister organizing the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Alok Sharma, on 25 October released a delivery plan to allow rich states to mobilize $100 billion per year in climate finance for developing countries. Sharma worked alongside German State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth and Canadian Minister for Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson to create the plan.

Paris-headquartered group Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) provided the countries with data and analysis in support of their climate finance objectives, as it has been doing since 2016.

The plan they created describes how new pledges by developed countries and multilateral development banks are set to make given amounts of climate finance available to developing countries from 2021 to 2025.

But the figures in the plan don't include additional pledges from developed countries, which are expected later this year, Sharma said.

The UK-backed finance plan also suggested new practices to help deliver more climate adaptation and mitigation funding by addressing barriers and mobilizing more private finance.


The UK, which is planning to reach net-zero while growing wind power, slashing buildings and industrial emissions, announced it would increase its climate finance commitments at the US-convened Leaders Summit on Climate on 22 April.

Ahead of that summit, the UK pledged $16 billion (£11.6 billion) towards climate finance in developing countries over the next five years.

The UK in March also barred its export credit agency from providing new direct support for the fossil fuel sector overseas, while aiming to realign its export credit finance to "stimulate green exports."

Finance pledged a decade in the making

The idea of a climate finance fund targeting developing nations dates back to COP15 in 2009. The promise then became binding as part of the Cancun Agreements adopted at COP16 that saw countries agreeing to finance what would grow to reach $100 billion per year by 2020. They pledged to set a new collective quantified goal from a floor of $100 billion per year by 2025.

Wealthier counties have been obliged to provide funds to assist developing countries with mitigation and adaptation since signing the Paris Agreement in 2015, under Article 9 of the deal. The 36 countries in Europe as well as Japan, Canada, Australia, and the United States have published a roadmap outlining their initial climate finance pledges.

For example, the UK initially pledged to provide at least £5.8 billion by 2020, while the US pledged at least $400 million.

Multinational development banks like the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the World Bank also pledged climate financing help.

The latter pledged an estimated $29 billion annually in combined direct financing and leveraged co-financing.

It remains to be seen if this satisfies developing nations. A group of developing nations —led by China and India and known as the Like Minded Developing Countries—warned developed countries they needed to put their hands deep in their pockets, and soon.

The group of states has insisted that developed countries must go further, raising sums beyond the promised $100 billion in a roadmap meeting their financial commitments.

Posted 25 October 2021 by Cristina Brooks, Senior Journalist, Climate and Sustainability


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