Climate activists to G7 leaders: Pay up and deliver climate finance now!

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June 11, 2024

Climate activists to G7 leaders: Pay up and deliver climate finance now!

Karachi, Fisherfolk and Civil Society members Organised Rally Started from Governor House roundabout to end front of Karachi Press Club, the Rally call on the leaders of the Group of 7 (G7) to deliver climate finance to developing countries in anticipation of the 50th G7 Summit on June 13. The Rally was conducted as part of a series of protests across South and Southeast Asia and led by the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD), whose campaigners have been calling for climate finance that will enable developing countries to address climate change.

Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum General Secretary, Saeed Baloch. emphasize the climate crisis is escalating, and people in the Global South are suffering from its increasingly devastating impacts,” Extreme heat in South and Southeast Asia has forced school closures, strained power grids, disrupted food production, and caused deaths due to heat stroke. The unprecedented heat in most of Southeast and South Asia, and the floods in southern Brazil, remind us that developing countries are hit the hardest despite contributing the least to the climate crisis.”

Saeed adds: “The rich, industrialized countries of the Global North are most responsible for causing this crisis with their historical and current greenhouse gas emissions, and therefore obligated to pay the costs of mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, and ensuring a just transition in the Global South. If they do not deliver the amount we need, we cannot limit average global temperatures to below 1.5C.”

Under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, developed countries agreed to provide climate finance to cover the costs of developing countries’ climate programs and projects. Climate justice activists emphasize that climate finance must be adequate, public, and new and additional to other standing financial obligations of developed countries, such as official development assistance.

The quantum, or the target amount of climate finance that must be raised for the Global South, will be a big agenda item at the climate negotiations at COP29 in December. COP29 is expected to set the new collective quantified goal (NCQG) for climate finance, which will replace the previous goal of $100 billion a year pledged by Global North governments.

This $100 billion pledge, made in 2009 and reiterated in 2015, has already been exposed and criticized as severely inadequate, yet the world’s richest nations have continuously failed to meet it. The G7 has collectively delivered only $30.9 billion through the UNFCCC’s climate funds.

Pakistan Fisherfolk Senior Vice Chairperson Fatima Majeed expressed the UNFCCC’s first Needs Determination Report, released in 2021, estimated that the cost of mitigation and adaptation would be $5.9 to $11.4 trillion until 2030. However, this amount represents the cost of only 26% of the needs of 24 countries, out of the 164 developing country parties to the UNFCCC, meaning the real cost of mitigation and adaptation is much higher. This figure also excludes economic loss and damage, which is estimated to cost at least $400 billion per year by 2030.

HRCP Sindh Vice Chairperson Qazi Khezir said The Global South needs trillions, not billions, We reject the excuse that the world’s wealthiest nations do not have adequate funds to fulfill their obligations when the annual military expenditure of the G7 exceeds $1 trillion. It is well within their ability and power to redirect these funds to climate finance. Additionally, they can raise funds for climate finance by taxing their elites and corporations–many of whom are the world’s top polluters and profiteers.”

Global South movements emphasize that climate finance must be delivered through grants, instead of loans that will exacerbate the debts of developing countries, and without conditions that infringe on developing countries’ self-determination. Further, campaigners called on the governments of the Global North to immediately cancel illegitimate debts from fossil fuel projects that accelerate the climate crisis and take steps towards comprehensive debt cancellation for economic and climate justice.

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