US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the Group of 20 rich nations was just ’a few billion dollars short’ of a pledge to raise $100 billion (R1.5 trilliion) a year to help developing nations tackle climate change Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the Group of 20 rich nations was just ’a few billion dollars short’ of a pledge to raise $100 billion (R1.5 trilliion) a year to help developing nations tackle climate change Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

G20 close to raising $100 billion to tackle the issue of climate change, while President Xi calls for stronger action

By Reuters, Xinhua, Sputnik Time of article published Nov 2, 2021

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AS US TREASURY Secretary Janet Yellen said the Group of 20 rich nations was just “a few billion dollars short” of a pledge to raise $100 billion (R1.5 trilliion) a year to help developing nations tackle climate change and was working hard to close the gap, China’s President Xi Jinping yesterday called on all parties to take stronger action to jointly tackle the issue.

Yellen said the target number was a five-year average, and G20 members remained “very strongly committed” to the goal.

“We’re very close to it this year. I think we’re only a few billion dollars short this year, and actually working hard, even now, to try to close the gap,” Yellen told reporters after a meeting with Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe in Dublin.

Yellen said that it was clearly necessary to mobilise public and private capital to help developing countries and emerging markets afford the investments needed to meet climate change obligations.

“This is a very high priority,” she said. “We’re very committed to mobilising the promised and needed capital.”

Funding is expected to be one of the biggest sticking points at the UN climate talks over the coming two weeks in Glasgow, Scotland, alongside carbon pricing. Both issues have been unresolved for years.

Yellen said she viewed carbon pricing as a very efficient way of adapting policy to deal with climate change and some of President Joe Biden’s climate change policies could involve “at least implicit carbon pricing through trading arrangements, for example, for the electricity sector”.

She said the US supported carbon pricing policies already adopted by many European countries and Canada, and was beginning to work closely with those countries to ensure their systems merged appropriately with those of the US.

At the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26), which Xi is not attending in person, the Chinese president in a written statement also urged developed countries to not only do more but also support developing nations to do better on climate change.

Xi made a three-pronged proposal to address climate challenge, including upholding multilateral consensus, focusing on concrete actions, and accelerating the green transition.

“When it comes to global challenges such as climate change, multilateralism is the right prescription,” he said.

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Paris Agreement provide the fundamental legal basis for international co-operation on climate.

Parties need to build on existing consensus, increase mutual trust, step up co-operation and work together to deliver a successful COP26 in Glasgow, he added.

Parties needed to honour their commitments, set realistic targets and visions, and do their best according to national conditions to deliver their climate action measures, Xi said.

Meanwhile, Biden told world leaders yesterday that the US would be able to meet its ambitious target to reduce emissions 50 to 52 percent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels and said the world must help developing nations more to deal with climate change.

“Right now we’re still falling short,” Biden said, telling the UN climate change conference in Scotland about the need for developed countries to help the developing world.

The US was releasing its long-term strategy on net zero by 2050. He said it was a moral and economic imperative to address climate change.

Brazil’s Environment Minister Joaquim Pereira Leite said yesterday

that the country would cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030, substantially raising the previous commitment to reduce emissions by 43 percent in that time period.

The UK at the conference yesterday launched an initiative to help developing countries have access to green technology and a doubling of the UK aid-funded green investments to £3bn (R62.37bn) over the next five years.

“I want to see the UK’s Green Industrial Revolution go global. The pace of change on clean technology and infrastructure is incredible, but no country should be left behind in the race to save our planet,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson was quoted as saying in the statement released by his office in Downing Street.

Reuters, Xinhua and Sputnik

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