The debate on the need for switching to low carbon economies has been a bipolar one for quite some time. On one side, developed countries sustain that developing countries need to change their economic growth pattern and reduce emissions. On the other, developing countries ask why their economic growth should be stanched by low carbon considerations when the developed countries never considered it until they were, well… developed.
I have to confess that even though there is evidence to decoupling of economic growth from carbon emissions, the argument, however selfish, does pull on some heartstrings.
And I’m not the only person to wonder how our countries could achieve economic growth and have some Earth left over in which to enjoy said growth. Thankfully, larger and more influential people and institutions have considered this conundrum for a while now. And there have been some proposed solutions.
“Developing countries cannot transform their economies towards low carbon unless they have financial support – you don’t even have to argue it. It is absolutely clear.”
The quote above, by Christiana Figueres, mentions one key part of the solution: climate financing.
Six years ago, in Copenhagen’s COP15, developed countries promised to mobilize long-term finance of US$ 100 billion a year by 2020. With close to four years to go, the available amount has yet to be met… but recently there has been talk of a detailed plan on how to meet this promise being revealed in Lima this October.
A recent article by Ed King sums the reasons why this October announcement could be the first step to a Paris deal that sets clear, simple rules to help developing countries access finance. And why it matters:
- Already some analysts calculate actions pledged to date set a course for 3C increase in the global temperature as opposed to the 2C limit above pre-industrial levels.
- The cost of adapting is going to be worse than we thought.
- Developing countries need new sources of funding.
- Instead of new promises, we need a finance package that delivers on promises made.
Photo: CC-BY-2.0 Forbes Johnston