Comment: Rich countries slow to meet climate aid pledges

23 February 2009

In the last seven years, developed countries have pledged $18 billion to help developing countries fight climate change. Only $.9 billion of this has been disbursed, reports The Guardian newspaper.

This is "worrying" news, says The Climate Group's Mark Kenber:

"Financing for developing country actions - both adaptation and mitigation - will be a central piece of the new international climate change agreement to be negotiated in Copenhagen this year. The sums needed far exceed the amounts that have been pledged to date.

"Showing a real commitment to providing this financing in a long-term predictable way, either directly or by stimulating private sector investment, will be crucial in reaching a successful agreement.

"It is therefore doubly worrying that the funds pledged so far have been so meagre and that wealthy countries have been so slow to follow up on their commitments. Unless the situation changes, we will miss the opportunity to kickstart low-carbon, climate-resilient development and we will endanger the likelihood of a global agreement.

"It is not hard to imagine that developing countries will have little faith in further promises by developed countries as the negotiations gather pace."

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