We need $2.4 trillion, if not more, to fight climate change: top UN official | Latest News India

New Delhi: Barely a month and a half after COP28, Simon Stiell, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, called on countries to commit trillions in climate finance.

India has consistently highlighted two major concerns of the global south: technology and climate finance. (AP/File)

Stiell, who gave a talk at ADA University in Baku, Azerbaijan on Friday, said at least $2.4 trillion would be needed each year for energy transition in developing countries (excluding China). COP29 is scheduled to take place in Baku and is expected to be a crucial COP for the Global South, with finance being one of the key issues on the agenda. The new collective quantified climate finance target (NCQG) is expected to be agreed later this year. This target will replace the US$100 billion target agreed in 2009 and should be based on the needs and priorities of developing countries.

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“What must we do this year to ensure that the world’s shared goals remain within reach? We must spend the year working together to evolve our global financial system so that it is fit for purpose and has a clear plan to meaningfully implement the climate transition. When you look at the numbers, it's clear that we need money, and a lot of money, to make this transition happen. $2.4 trillion, if not more,” Stiell said.

The High-Level Panel on Climate Finance estimates that $2.4 trillion is needed each year to invest in renewable energy, adaptation and other climate-related issues in developing countries, excluding China.

“Whether it is reducing emissions or building climate resilience, it is already evident that finance is the deciding factor in the global climate fight – in terms of quantity, quality and innovation… In fact, 2023 is without much more finance Climate successes will quickly evaporate into further empty promises. We need streams – not trickles – of climate finance,” said Stiell.

The new collective quantified climate finance target must be agreed. Countries must be confident that they can quickly access sufficient concessional support, he said.

Stiell also warned countries not to exploit the loopholes in the COP28 agreement. “While the global inventory agreement last year at COP28 was far from perfect, it would have been unthinkable just a few years ago and sends a very strong signal of the inevitability of global decarbonization,” he said, adding: “But now it’s no.” Time for victory laps. It's time to get back to work. Likewise, it would be completely self-defeating for any government to hide behind gaps in decision-making texts or avoid the hard work ahead through selective interpretation as the impacts of climate strain each country's economy and population.”

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HT reported on December 13 that history was made in Dubai as 196 countries agreed to transition from fossil fuels in a fair, orderly and equitable manner, accelerating action in this critical decade to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 To achieve this, experts said it is not doing enough on almost all fronts – climate targets, financing, phasing out fossil fuels and holding historical polluters accountable.

Still, fossil fuels have been a taboo topic in climate negotiations for years, and although the words “oil” and “gas” are still not mentioned in the text, the very fact that there is consensus is seen as a victory in some quarters.

According to the agreement, one of the means is “to accelerate zero- and low-emission technologies, including, among others, renewable energy, nuclear energy, avoidance and removal technologies such as carbon capture, utilization and storage, particularly in sectors where emissions reductions are difficult to achieve. “and low-carbon hydrogen production”.

Experts have been cautious about this because such a provision could allow countries to further expand their use of planet-warming fossil fuels while relying heavily on carbon capture technologies.

Stiell also said he hoped the G20 – which together are responsible for 80% of global emissions in 2025 – has seriously revised its targets in line with the 1.5 degrees C target. “Because they know that PR spin, re-branding or tinkering is not enough to meet their climate responsibilities and that it would also leave them well behind the innovation curve, not at the top,” he said.

“Fundamentally, this speech is about getting on with the work and being a neutral broker is key for the ES. Therefore, it made sense for him to give this speech in Baku and not in Davos or elsewhere,” said a senior adviser to the executive secretary.

“India has consistently highlighted two major concerns of the global south – technology and climate finance. At the G20 summit under the Indian presidency, it was agreed that climate finance needs will reach trillions of dollars by 2030. And that these should be available, accessible and affordable,” Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said in an interview with HT on December 15.