Rich nations must deliver climate finance before COP26: Guterres

Rich nations must deliver climate finance before COP26: Guterres
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. (Manuel Elias/UN Photo/Handout via Xinhua/IANS)

New York, Sep 23 (IANS) Demanding much bolder climate action from G20 nations, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Thursday said that developed countries must uphold their promise to deliver $100 billion dollars in climate finance annually to the developing world before COP26.

His remarks during the UN Security Council briefing on the 'Role of Climate Action in Maintaining International Peace and Security' came in wake of inadequate climate action by many countries, especially rich nations, ahead of the COP26, the annual climate change negotiations meet at Glasgow from October 31.

"We need a breakthrough on adaptation and resilience to deal with the already dire impacts of climate disruption on the lives and livelihoods of people all over the world. It is essential that at least 50 per cent of climate finance globally is committed to building resilience and supporting adaptation. Annual adaptation costs in developing countries are estimated at $70 billion, and they are expected to reach up to $300 billion a year by 2030," he said, adding": "Huge gaps remain in adaptation finance for developing countries."

"We simply cannot achieve our shared climate goals - nor achieve hope for lasting peace and security - if resilience and adaptation continue to be the forgotten half of the climate equation," Guterres warned.

"This neglect is seriously endangering our collective efforts on the crucial road to COP26 in November," he said and demanded rich nations to contribute their shares in the climate finance kitty.

Before that, he had also urged the member states to show "more ambitions" in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) by COP26 and to translate their commitments into concrete and immediate action. "Collectively, we need a 45 per cent cut in global emissions by 2030," he said.

It is at the COP26 that the countries are set to negotiate actions to be taken to keep emissions in check to over all restrict global temperature rise to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to the pre-industrial era by the end of this century.

Guterres also said that climate adaptation and peacebuilding can and should reinforce each other.

"It is clear that climate change and environmental mismanagement are risk multipliers. Where coping capacities are limited and there is high dependence on shrinking natural resources and ecosystem services, such as water and fertile land, grievances and tensions can explode, complicating efforts to prevent conflict and sustain peace," he said.

Stating that more than 30 million people were displaced by climate-related disasters last year, Guterres said: "90 per cent of refugees come from countries that are among the most vulnerable and least able to adapt to the effects of climate change."