UK is bypassing poor nations £ 1.9bn a year for climate crisis, study finds

The UK must shell out an additional £ 1.9 billion a year to pay its ‘fair share’ in helping poor countries meet climate emergency and is lagging behind 6 other leading nations, according to a new analysis.

Boris Johnson did “climate finance”- to ensure that the“ guilty ”industrialized countries help developing countries adapt to the devastating effects of carbon dioxide emission – a key issue for the Cop26 Mountain peak.

But the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) study reveals that the UK is far from to be a world leader – is well below the contribution it is expected to make to a global fund of $ 100 billion.

Based on national income, population and historical emissions, the UK ‘owed’ £ 4.2bn in 2017-18, but only returned £ 2bn, or just 48% .

And the Prime Minister’s recent pledge of around £ 2.3bn annually through 2025 – to ‘build our credibility’ with poor countries, he said – brings the UK to just 55 % of that ‘fair share’ of £ 4.2 billion in 2021-22, ODI concluded.

In contrast, France, Germany, Denmark, Japan and Luxembourg are on track to pay their contributions over the same period, while the Netherlands (78%) also do better than the United Kingdom.

UK shortfall comes next The independent revealed that future climate finance payments will be taken from the reduced foreign aid budget – despite the requirement that they be “additional”.

Dr Laetitia Pettinotti, Senior Research Fellow at ODI, said The independent: “Given its historic responsibility for climate change, given its people and its economy – and even with the commitment of £ 11.6 billion through 2025 – we have calculated that the UK lacks £ 1.9 billion a year.

“The UK is lagging behind six other developed countries in terms of fair contribution, and the money will be taken from the aid budget, which flies in the face of the principle that all climate finance should be additional. “

ODI describes its calculations as a “first attempt” to divide responsibility for reaching the $ 100 billion target – as the rich world runs out of $ 20 billion, with less than two weeks to go to the Glasgow summit .

He also seeks to correct the major weakness of not having rules to agree on how much each country must pay, warning that “disputes risk poisoning other parts of the climate negotiations.”

“The objective is collective without a rule dividing the contribution of each country”, added Dr Pettinotti.

“Not only was the target not met, but some large economies and legacy issuers, like the UK or the US, are not paying enough climate finance compared to other smaller, lesser economies. issuers, such as Norway or Denmark. “

Using past carbon emissions “captures the ‘polluter pays’ principle,” says the think tank – rating the UK as having the 5e largest debt in history, behind the United States, Japan, Germany and Canada.

Only emissions since 1990 – when a ‘clear scientific consensus’ on global warming was formed – are included, although the starting point could have been the Industrial Revolution, which started in Britain.

The ODI compared the efforts of the 23 countries required, since the target of $ 100 billion was first set by the United Nations in Copenhagen in 2009, to provide the money.

Its research indicates that France has committed $ 7.1 billion in annual climate finance in the coming years and “therefore the country will meet its fair share.”

Germany also plans to increase its contribution to $ 7.1 billion, which – with additional loans from development bank KfW – means it is “likely” to meet its target of 7.9 to $ 8.8 billion.

The worst performing countries are Australia (7%), Canada (20%) and the United States (26%), while Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece are among the countries that fail to even provide sufficient data.

However, despite its large deficit, the UK is praised for providing grants rather than loans, as many other countries do, and for better reporting methods.

Downing Street has been asked to respond to criticism that the UK’s contribution to the $ 100 billion fund is failing to meet its ‘fair share’.

The modest position of the United States comes despite Joe biden pledging last month to double its contribution to $ 11.4 billion a year and urging other rich countries to follow suit.

In response, Mr Johnson released £ 550million in climate funds, but failed to increase the UK’s annual contribution – and confirmed that it would come from aid spending.


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