Guest Article: Climate of Compromises: How Climate Finance Commitments Slow SDG Progress | SDG Knowledge Hub

By John Nordbo, climate adviser at CARE Denmark

At Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in 2009, developed countries committed to supporting climate change adaptation and mitigation activities in developing countries. The Copenhagen Accord stipulates that developed countries would provide scaled-up climate finance to developing countries, reaching USD 100 billion a year in 2020.

This climate finance commitment was not an altruistic pledge by the wealthier, developed countries. It was a component of a broader global green deal which pledged climate finance to support countries in the global South in stepping up climate action as part of their sustainable development efforts. 

The global North had failed to cut its own emissions fast enough to bring climate change under control, and global warming reached a level that necessitated costly adaptation to climate change. It was therefore agreed that developed countries would pick up at least some of the bill for climate action in the global South.

Critically, in recognition of existing development priorities such as eradication of extreme hunger and poverty, the Group of 7 (G7) and other rich countries not only promised to provide “scaled-up” climate finance, but also committed to finance being “new and additional” to existing overseas development aid budgets.

Rich countries have failed to live up to their climate finance commitments

Published to coincide with the G7 talks currently underway in Germany, CARE’s…

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