How much does it cost countries to “heal” the planet that they have made ill?

Column written by Claudia Moray, – specialist in Environmental Law, collaborator at GBM- on El Cronista

Over time, civilization has advanced by leaps and bounds using nature as raw material. We are experiencing unprecedented climate change in response to this catastrophic depredation.
In the last two centuries, our “common home” has been hurt and mistreated as never before, with which reality puts us before an ecological and, especially, human crisis. Laudato Sì, the encyclical of Pope Francis makes a global call to care for the environment.
In the context of the coronavirus and the recovery from the global recession, climate change continues to impact and climate risks are increasing around the world. COP26 is a critical summit for global climate action. To limit warming to 1.5 degrees, global emissions must be cut in half by 2030 and reach “net zero” by 2050.
The debate on global responsibility in the face of global warming is becoming more acute, we have “common but differentiated responsibilities”. Because some countries have a historical responsibility because it is the richest countries that have contributed the most to climate change, while the poor countries are the ones that suffer the consequences.

Claudia Moray – Accreditated at COP26 Glasgow, UK

While the climate crisis is a global problem and requires a response from every country, the reality is that the poorest countries are less equipped to deal with climate change and are more vulnerable to its effects.
That is why the wealthiest nations committed themselves in 2015, Paris Agreement to reiterate the commitment (assumed in COP15, 2009) that developed countries would mobilize -at least- US$100,000 million annually from 2020, with the particular extension to do so until 2025, towards developing countries.
The idea -at least in 2015- was to establish an even more ambitious financing objective after that period had expired. Until now, according to the latest report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), it shows that rich countries have only mobilized US$79.6 billion of the US$100 billion promised in 2019. amount only grew 2% concerning the previous year.
Official figures for 2020 will not be available until 2022, but with COVID-19 that mobilization of funds was lower. For poor countries already battered by climate change, the added impact of COVID-19 on their people and economies has intensified their call on developed countries to deliver on their promise.
At a preparatory meeting in Rome, Pope Francis called in early October to go beyond “the narrow limits” of partisan politics to quickly reach a consensus on combating climate change. They will be illuminated by two important principles of “responsibility and solidarity”.

An agreement at COP26 will need the confidence of groups of countries such as the African Group, the Climate Vulnerable Forum, the least developed countries and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). Recent announcements, including President Joe Biden’s pledge to double America’s climate finance, have brought rich countries closer to meeting the pledge, but much more will need to be done to restore credibility and strengthen trust between the richest and poorest nations.
Strengthening capacity to adapt to the impacts of climate change is another important element of COP26 because adaptation efforts (coping with the consequences: relocation, flood mitigation, emergency response) do not always have a business case, which means that public money is needed.
In contrast, mitigation financing (reducing emissions: energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable transportation) focuses heavily on mobilizing the private sector. As it is expected an expansion in the role of public-private partnerships, public and private investments would have a “vital” role to play. With debts mounting as countries seek to rebuild from COVID-19, many are wondering if $100 billion is enough.


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