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Al-Jaber says ‘$100bn funding delays’ impacting climate goals

UAE climate envoy Sultan Al-Jaber says the real value of the $100 billion invested had eroded since the pledge was first made in 2009

The UAE’s climate envoy and designated president of the Cop28 Sultan Al Jaber said that funding delays were holding up progress in addressing climate change.

“Expectations are high. Trust is low,” Reuters reported Al Jaber as saying at the Petersberg climate dialogue in Berlin.

He added that the real value of the $100 billion had eroded since the pledge was first made in 2009.

“What happens inside the negotiations process is critically important. We need to match what is agreed in the negotiated text with concrete action in the real world,” state-owned WAM news agency said, citing Al Jaber.

He urged delegates to “put an end to delays and start delivery. Let’s turn passion into pragmatic solutions”, saying that “the world demands transformational progress. The world needs transformational action”.

“We must accelerate cross-sectoral progress on mitigation. We must ensure countries have the resources and plans in place to adapt to climate impacts. And we must supercharge climate finance, making it more available, more accessible and more affordable finance to drive delivery across every climate pillar.”

On the other hand, Germany’s foreign minister Annalena Baerbock said that wealthy nations were on track to meet their overdue $100 billion climate finance pledge to developing countries in 2023.

The donor countries met on Monday to discuss progress towards their pledge to transfer $100 billion per year from 2020 to vulnerable states hit by increasingly severe climate change impacts.

“The good news is that it looks like we are on track to finally reach the sum of $100 billion this year,” she said.

Wealthy countries provided $83.3 billion in 2020 – falling $16.7 billion short of the target, according to the latest available OECD data. The OECD and wealthy countries had previously indicated the goal could be met this year.

“It is frankly an embarrassment that it hasn’t been possible to mobilise this money yet – especially taking into consideration that really, when being honest, we need trillions,” Dan Jorgensen, Denmark’s minister for global climate policy and development, told Reuters.

Jorgensen, who said Denmark had provided more than its fair share of the $100 billion total in recent years, said finally meeting the goal could unlock progress in other areas of climate negotiations this year.