Vulnerable nations lay out demands for climate talks

Oct 19, 2021, 12:20 PM | Updated: 12:51 pm

LONDON (AP) — A group comprising dozens of nations particularly vulnerable to the effects of global warming have laid out their key demands ahead of the upcoming U.N. climate summit in Glasgow.

These include getting rich countries to commit to fulfill and step up their pledges of financial assistance to help them battle climate change, more frequent updates on national plans for cutting greenhouse gas emissions and the development of a system to compensate poor countries for climate-related damages.

Officials from the 48 countries that make up the Climate Vulnerable Forum said a recent U.N. science report highlighted the urgent need for action to ensure that global warming doesn’t rise above 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).

Scientists say the goal, set in Paris six years ago, is increasingly at risk unless emissions drop soon.

The vulnerable nations said they want diplomats in Glasgow to agree on how they will deliver the $100 billion that rich countries pledged to give poorer nations each year to tackle global warming, and for half the funds to be dedicated to adaptation. Figures for 2019 show only about $80 billion was provided, with most of the money earmarked for mitigation measures to reduce emissions.

“There is a shortfall to the $100 billion and a total imbalance in funding with completely insufficient resources for adaptation,” Bangladesh’s Environment Secretary Mostafa Kamal said in the statement.

The group also called for governments to update their emissions goals at each annual climate summit, something rich countries currently only do every five years. Some major emitters, such as China, want to set new targets even less frequently.

“This is the only measure that could give the vulnerable nations hope to keep 1.5 (degree C temperature rise) within reach,” said Ethiopia’s commissioner for the environment, forests and climate change, Fekadu Beyene.

In what may be its most ambitious demand, the CVF further called for the Glasgow climate summit to agree on developing a system of financial compensation to cover what is known as “loss and damage” resulting from climate change. The idea is strongly opposed by rich polluting countries, who fear they would have to foot the bill. A demand for a 5% levy on proceeds from emissions trading is likewise contentious.

The U.N. summit in Glasgow, known as COP26, will bring together thousands of diplomats, scientists and environmental activists from around the world to assess progress since the Paris climate accord was signed in 2015. It begins Oct. 31.

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Vulnerable nations lay out demands for climate talks