Donors Near $100 Billion a Year in Climate Aid to Poorer Nations, Kerry Says
John Kerry, President Biden’s special envoy on climate change, said he expected new financial commitments to fulfill a long-delayed promise to provide $100 billion a year in aid for developing countries to fight and adapt to global warming.
The latest diplomatic effort, led by Germany and Canada, aims to pull together that amount from wealthier donor countries by 2023 — three years behind the timetable set in 2015 under the Paris Agreement.
“I believe today, hopefully, that will be augmented,” Mr. Kerry said on the sidelines of a meeting of a group of countries known as the High Ambition Coalition, at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.
The United States has rejoined that coalition, Mr. Kerry announced Tuesday. That’s important because that bloc has historically pushed for the toughest targets at international climate talks and was instrumental in clinching the final deal on the Paris Agreement. The United States had dropped from the coalition when Mr. Biden’s predecessor, Donald J. Trump, withdrew from the Paris accord.
In a statement, the High Ambition Coalition rang the alarm that the world was far off track from the goal of limiting global average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, by the end of this century, compared to the start of the industrial age. That’s the temperature threshold beyond which the most severe climate impacts become significantly more likely.
The group said its countries “note with deep concern the gap between existing commitments and a 1.5°C pathway, stress the urgent need to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in this decisive decade, and recognize the importance of ambitious action” by the 20 nations with the world’s biggest economies, known as the Group of 20, which are also the world’s 20 biggest polluters.
At the moment, even if all countries achieve their voluntarily set climate plans, the average global temperature would go far past a 1.5-degree increase, raising the prospect of much more frequent and intense heat waves, fires and floods.
The statement calls on countries to submit more ambitious climate targets in order to collectively reach the target and halt what they called “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies “as soon as possible,” and signaled the need to “increase resources” for addressing loss and damage from climate impacts.
Mr. Kerry said he was optimistic that private banks would mobilize far bigger pots of money for countries trying to shift their energy systems away from fossil fuels.
“$100 billion doesn’t do it,” he said. “The only way we ‘re going to get it done is if trillions of dollars are forthcoming, and they are.”