Developed countries have been called upon to keep their end of bargain on climate actions by giving more support to vulnerable developing nations suffering disproportionately in the climate crisis.
In an interview while on a visit to Pakistan, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres challenged the developed economies to cash in their promise after witnessing witnessing first-hand the devastating effects of climate change in the region.
Speaking with a China Media Group (CMG) reporter on September 16, Guterres pointed out that almost nobody has done enough in mitigating climate change, with rich industrial countries having a historical responsibility for many decades in the past, during which they were the main emitters.
“We need to guarantee two things. First is that developed countries reduce quickly their emissions, and second that they cooperate with emerging economies and other developing countries with finance, with technology, with support in order to allow them to accelerate also the green transition of their economies that they cannot do by themselves because they came later in the development process,” said Guterres.
The UN chief again underlined that developed countries have yet to fully fulfill their promises of financial support to developing countries.
“Developed countries have promised 100 billion U.S. dollars per year in 2020, we are in 2022, it has not yet happened, and this is just a drop in the ocean. I mean, we also need a stronger engagement in international financial institutions in climate action in support of developing countries and leveraging private finance to support developing countries on this,” he said.
Pakistan, which suffered serious losses in unprecedented flooding this summer, shows that countries more vulnerable to the climate change’ impacts require investments to help them build up resilience, according to the UN chief.
“Then look at Pakistan, the devastation that took place. Obviously you cannot avoid the situation like that, but you can to a large extent control it better, if you have massively invested in what is called adaptation in building resilience, in having resilient infrastructure. I mean, just a simple thing, the roads that had been built higher resisted; the roads have been built at the lower level were destroyed, which means investments need to be made, namely in the countries that are more impacted by climate change, to protect those countries from the devastating impact of climate change. But that requires investment, and that requires knowledge and technology, and these developed countries need to provide,” said Guterres.
The COP27 Climate Change Conference is scheduled to take place in November in Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh. Guterres expressed hope that more progress on funding may be reached, and for losses and damages associated with climate change impacts to be addressed.
“There was a promise of a 40 billion U.S. dollars per year in Glasgow. We’ll see whether the promises will be met or not. But it’s not enough. Developing countries need about 300 billion dollars per year to invest in adaptation and resilience to protect their societies. And then there is loss and damage. Loss and damage is in the Paris Agreement, but until now there has not been a serious discussion and a serious mechanism of action to put it seriously on the table. So I hope that in Cairo finally, it will be possible to have serious discussions and action on loss and damage,” said Guterres, referring to the COP26 Climate Change Conference held in Glasgow, Scotland last year.