Climate finance: time to get serious about money

Article: 05.12.23, Dubai

The need for climate finance for the energy transition, climate adaptation and climate disaster relief has a number. The UN high level expert group on climate finance estimates that low-income countries will need $2.4 trillion a year in investment to cap emissions and adapt to the challenges posed by climate change.

“Delivering on and scaling up finance is indispensable to achieving climate objectives. The collective failure of developed countries to fulfill their climate finance commitments has exacerbated inequalities, with a devastating impact on climate-vulnerable communities”, says lobby and advocacy officer Esin Erdoğan from Simavi.

Protesters at COP28. Photo: COP28 / Mahmoud Khaled

Not looking for charity

"The climate finance that they have pledged at this COP28 is simply not enough," said Pakistani activist Zaigham Abbas to Reuters. His country was devastated last year by widespread flooding. "We are not looking for charity here. We are not looking for peanuts. The scale of the catastrophe that we are staring at is unprecedented."

In a news conference, Mia Mottley, Barbados Prime Minister and a prominent voice in global discussions about climate finance, urged countries to go beyond voluntary pledges and pleas to charities and private investors and instead to consider taxes as a way to boost climate funding.

Taxes to boost climate funding

A global 0.1% tax on financial services, for example, could raise $420 billion, she said, while a 5% tax on global oil and gas profits in 2022 would have yielded around $200 billion. Other delegates, including U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, have called for an end to fossil fuel subsidies which have hit a record $7 trillion per year.

Esin Erdoğan: “The EU and its Member States can make a start with fossil fuel taxation, aviation and maritime taxation and levies, and EU financial transaction tax and wealth taxes, from which a share of revenues is dedicated to new and additional climate finance. Moreover, a phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies would enable funding for sustainable development, including climate finance.”

Esther Oeganda

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