Financial aid ‘critical’ to help developing countries limit fossil fuels – and make Cop26 a success, says UN. The head of climate change at the UN has warned that world leaders are still “far away” from securing a deal to limit the disastrous effects of global heating, with less than five months to go before a key summit in Glasgow. Time is now running out, said Patricia Espinosa, who was formerly foreign minister of Mexico but now leads the UN on climate policy. She told the Observer that although advances had been made at the G7 meeting in Cornwall last weekend, progress had not been made on honouring past commitments to find $100bn (£72.5bn) a year to help developing countries invest in green technologies.
The Paris climate agreement in 2015 pledged that nations would try to limit temperature rises to less than 1.5C by drastically limiting fossil fuel emissions, the principal cause of global heating. Glasgow will be the first opportunity to assess the impact of the promises made in Paris and to implement new measures to avert global catastrophe. The G7 had offered hope that this process could be boosted in advance of Cop26, but Espinosa expressed disappointment, saying: “Regarding finance, I’d have really hoped for a clearer signal on how and when we will be able to see the commitment to mobilise the $100bn fulfilled.”
Honouring the pledge is seen as critical if developing countries are to come into line with plans to cut emissions and take costly steps necessary to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. At the G7, there were commitments to get to the target before Cop26, but a lack of detail remained about precisely how much money wealthier nations would be willing to give. Espinosa added that there were still doubts about whether the summit would be held with all delegates attending in person, or whether it might be staged partly or wholly in a virtual format. If there were surges in Covid-19, plans would have to be adapted accordingly.
Source: The UN