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Climate Crisis: Poor Countries Need $400bn A Year To Fight

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By A Correspondent

Poor countries should receive between US$400 billion and US$2 trillion per year from rich countries by 2050 to help them cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fight climate crisis, finds a new paper published on March 16, 2015 by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy at London School of Economics and Political Science.

The paper finds: By comparison, wealthier countries including the US, Japan and the EU members have promised to deliver an annual $100 billion by 2020.

“The climate finance goals to which high-income countries have committed are rather unambitious,” wrote the researchers in the study. “Transfers never exceed 1% to 2% of gross domestic product (GDP) for high-income country regions in any of the model projections. The cost to high-income countries, while substantial, is not likely to be prohibitive.”

The researchers, Alex Bowen, Emanuele Campiglio and Sara Herreras Martinez, used economic models to calculate the amount of money would need to be transferred between countries if the costs of cutting emissions to avoid climate crisis were paid for in an equal way depending on their national income.

Climate finance is a key element of negotiations among more than 190 nations as they try to devise by year-end a new agreement to fight climate change that will come into effect in 2020. Developing countries argue they need the cash to take expensive measures needed to both cut emissions and fight the effects of rising temperatures that are already being seen. Those include higher sea levels, more frequent droughts and heat waves.

The researchers examined the costs of reducing GHG emissions to a level that would contain warming since the Industrial Revolution to the globally-agreed goal of 2 degrees Celsius. They then devised a formula to distribute the costs “equally” according to a country’s economic output.

The paper, which has been submitted to Climate Policy journal, states: “The definition of equal effort means that the reforming economies and current oil exporting regions would receive relatively large amounts as a share of GDP.”

Rich countries agreed at the UN climate change summit in Cancún in 2010 to provide an additional US$100 billion per year by 2020 from public and private sources to help developing countries to cut GHG emissions and to adapt to those impacts of climate crisis that cannot be avoided.

The study finds that although private investors can provide some climate finance, there will likely still be a considerable shortfall each year.

It states: “A review of the main possible sources and channels of climate finance suggests that all of them are currently very far from their potential. The shortcomings of public climate finance appear particularly hard to overcome.”

It adds: “Relying on investors motivated purely by financial returns may underpin international climate finance more effectively than the fluctuating goodwill of policy-makers.”


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