Paris climate deal at stake over funding stalemate
UNITED NATIONS climate talks in Bangkok made little headway on the thorny issue of how funding for poor nations to tackle global warming is to be stepped up, something that could stymie progress at a summit in December, rights and aid groups said.
Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said the Bangkok negotiations, which ended Sunday, had made "uneven progress" on drafting a "rule book" to implement the 2015 Paris accord.
"This underlines the urgent need for continuing work in coming weeks," she said in a statement.
Environment and development experts were more damning, warning that a funding shortfall threatens the Paris Agreement to reduce planet-warming emissions and adapt to climate change.
"If developed countries remain stuck in their positions and fail to loosen their purses, the treaty may collapse," said Actionaid International’s global lead on climate change, Harjeet Singh.
Back in 2009, wealthy governments agreed to raise $100 billion a year by 2020 to help vulnerable countries grow their economies cleanly and withstand wilder weather and rising seas. As that deadline approaches, disagreements persist over where the money will come from, and what should be counted towards the $100 billion annual goal.
Those discussions were deadlocked in Bangkok, as the US, Japan and Australia pushed for a flexible approach that would include commercial loans, insurance and export guarantees.
Campaigners also flagged troubles at the flagship Green Climate Fund, which is intended to channel a large chunk of the money rich nations have pledged, but is struggling to replenish its coffers after the US signalled it would not deliver $2 billion of an initial $3-billion promise.
At the December summit in Poland, governments will meet to finalise guidelines for putting into practice the Paris accord, which has been ratified by some 180 nations.
A climate change rally in San Diego, California in February 2017.