Canada and Germany pay richer countries for more climate money

Ottawa’s Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said Canada and Germany are taking major steps to persuade rich nations around the world to raise more money to help developing nations combat climate change.

Canada’s environment minister is visiting Italy this week for final talks to set the agenda for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference to be held in Scotland next month, known as COP26.

These discussions include the deadline for countries to sign the Paris Agreement on Climate Change to come up with more desirable plans to reduce greenhouse gases, and to take time to irreversibly slow climate change.

But it is important that you have the resources to actually implement these projects.

More than 10 years ago, rich nations agreed to raise $100 billion annually in climate aid through 2020 so that developing countries could adapt to and mitigate climate change.

The most developed countries in the world are now responsible for most of the evictions.

Last month, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development reported that $20 billion was short of the $100 billion target for developed countries. In July, Wilkinson and German Environment Minister Josine Flaspart agreed to bridge that gap before the start of COP26 talks.

Wilkinson said Friday that Flaspart initially described the mission as “impossible.” But after spending most of the past two days in Milan, Wilkinson said there has been a move on about a dozen bilateral meetings with some of the world’s richest nations.

“I would like to say that we have made great strides, that Germany and Canada are working hard to make this possible, and that we will pledge $100 billion,” he said at a press conference in Milan this afternoon.

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Although no new monetary pledges have been announced yet, he later confirmed that he had received assurances from several countries that new pledges would come.

Some of the gaps have already been closed before the last batch.

At the G7 leaders summit in June, Canada pledged to double its funding to about $1 billion annually over the next five years, and Germany pledged to increase its annual contribution by a third to more than $7 billion by 2025.

Last month, US President Joe Biden said the US contribution would reach $11.4 billion by 2024. Under former President Donald Trump, the US canceled most of its climate aid and withdrew the US from the Paris Agreement.

Wilson said the US’s return to Paris made a “big difference” and that US economic engagement was “crucial for us to achieve the $100 billion goal.”

Eddie Perez, director of international climate diplomacy for the Canadian Climate Change Network, said the mission Canada and Germany had agreed was a big hot potato that would eventually negotiate or collapse to make the world go faster.

Wilkinson and Flaspart plan to publish a report documenting what he promised the third week of October and how the rest can be accomplished.

“We are not yet sure if they can come up with a credible plan,” Peres told the Canadian press.

The environment and climate ministers of Costa Rica and Grenada said in a comment released in July that meeting promised climate finance targets is the only way for countries like yours to have a “fair chance” at a sustainable future.

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Money itself is only part of the puzzle. The type of financing is also important. Last year, Oxfam said 80 per cent of climate finance from wealthy governments comes in the form of loans, not grants.

Other studies have shown that climate protection projects such as clean energy are more likely to generate returns on investment and that less interest in financing infrastructure projects will help protect poor countries from the effects of an already changing climate. Systems that do not have a clear ROI are the most expensive.

This Canadian press release was first published on October 1, 2021.

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