Tackling the climate crisis needs funding and it’s been having a hard time

Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav told Glasgow what Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not do in his summit speech. The message was evident from the Prime Minister’s remarks, although not in so many words. If the trillions of dollars the Prime Minister spoke of does not come, then India cannot be blamed if its stated goals are not met.

The Prime Minister has defined a difficult task – a difficult demand – all the trillion dollars that India will need to achieve its stated goals. Officials later clarified that the deadline for this was until 2030, when India hopes to get up to half of its energy from renewals, up from the 40% currently announced.

India has clarified that emissions from its fossil-fueled power plants will continue to rise at least until the mid-2040s, and will only begin to decline after peaking at that time. But that presupposes that he can meet his goal sooner for 2030, and it further presupposes that he’ll get a trillion dollars in funding by then. Not necessarily in the form of grants, but in the form of loans at almost zero interest rates.

This expectation seems unlikely to be met. Developed countries pledged at the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009 to provide financial support of $ 100 billion per year to all developing countries by 2020, so that they can take all possible measures. to contain a global temperature increase of no more than 1.5 degrees this century. It was not respected. The target date is now 2023.

As envisioned so far, this promised money, if all made available as promised, would amount to little more than a tiny fraction of the sums of money needed.

If India’s demand is to be met, developed countries would have to raise this $ 100 billion annually until 2030 for India alone. Any support to other developing countries would add to that. It is obvious that all of this money is not reaching India. What India is clearly showing is what it can – and cannot do – if the money doesn’t come.

“The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report made it clear that the task ahead is urgent,” Yadav told CNBC-TV18 in Glasgow. “This means that the developed countries, which among themselves have contributed most of the air pollution, must make this funding available, as they promised but did not.”

This funding, he said, “must be agreed on government to government”, and commitments in this regard must be firmly clarified. “It is not enough to accept responsibility, developed countries must take responsibility.” The international decision to track emissions must be accompanied by a parallel approach, he said, to track “which countries are providing funds for climate finance according to their promises.”

Technology transfer

On climate finance and technology transfer, the COP26 summit in Glasgow put forward more language than funds. Among the noisier areas of silence were the conditions under which any privately developed technology could be offered to the governments of another country. The only model that could be considered would be for governments of more developed countries to pay their own private sector for patents and production in order to transfer this technology to developing countries.

The COP26 did not begin to count, nor even to estimate the costs of such a transfer of technology, nor to determine what share of these costs would be covered by the 100 billion US dollars pledged per year between all the developed countries for all developing countries.

Giant energy companies such as ExxonMobil are developing carbon capture and storage solutions for heavy manufacturing and power generation that together produce 70% of emissions. But much of this technology is still being researched and developed. There is no out-of-the-box technology on a scale that could be supplied and installed in fossil fuel or manufacturing plants – even at a cost.

The budget for such research is in the billions of pounds between these companies. None of these companies have yet announced their intention to inform their shareholders that they are developing these technologies for the good of the world rather than for their profit. Neither has any indebted Western government announced that it will give up the benefits for its own citizens of paying for this technology to be given to India and others.

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) solutions are still a far cry from free umbrellas that trap carbon so that it is then stored invisibly. Containing climate change will take money and technology, and neither is even tiny on the horizon right now. Yadav explained quite simply the consequences on the final cost of the failure of the transfer of the two. It looks like it would be “the very destruction of the world.”

(Edited by : Priyanka Deshpande)

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