At COP26, low-income countries were calling for rich nations to deliver their commitment to $100bn a year in climate funding they had promised in 2009, and which was meant to be met last year in 2020.
They were also pushing to ensure the negotiations address their rising longer-term funding needs for adapting to climate impacts and mitigating emissions, as well as finance for the losses and damages already caused by climate impacts.
But wealthy countries have been blocking progress on all of these. Low-income country negotiators have denounced the gap between world leaders’ speeches and what happens behind closed doors in the negotiation rooms.
In the run up to the negotiations, Germany and Canada drew up a roadmap for the delivery of the $100bn on behalf of these countries, which made it clear that they’re unlikely to meet this commitment before 2023.
These climate finance commitments are still being drawn from already stretched Official Development Assistance (ODA) budgets, not additional to them.
Without this funding, the progress that resource-poor nations can make will be highly limited.
However, there were some welcome announcements that the gap in adaptation finance will be addressed, to better reach the balance within climate finance between mitigation and adaptation.
Five countries – Rwanda, Bangladesh, Fiji, Uganda and Jamaica – will also take part in a trial to ease the red tape and simplify the process to access financial support. This is a much needed start to making sure that countries can access the money they urgently need as quickly as possible.
However, big decisions on finance for loss and damage – the real litmus test – were put off until a later date.
With a commitment only to dialogue, rather than action, from wealthy countries, people in climate-vulnerable countries who need the support now are being let down.