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Al Suwaidi: time to deliver on $100bn climate pledge

Al Suwaidi climate pledge Reuters/Jana Rodenbusch
Majid Al Suwaidi said developed nations need to deliver on the $100 billion climate pledge this year
  • Solutions needed to ‘get back on track’
  • Brazil president calls for more funding
  • Eight Amazon nations sign paper ahead of Cop28

Developed countries must stump up their agreed $100 billion a year to tackle climate change as the world is a long way off from meeting the targets set in the Paris Agreement, Cop28’s director general said in Brazil this week.

“We need to invest across the board in every kind of solution that is going to get us back on track,” Majid Al Suwaidi told Bloomberg on Tuesday. “We need to have this $100 billion delivered this year.”

Al Suwaidi is in Belém this week for the Amazon Summit, a two-day conference led by the leaders of South America’s eight Amazon nations – Brazil, Bolivia, Columbia, Peru, Guyana, Ecuador, Suriname and Venezuela. 

The summit, hosted by Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva – known as Lula – is the first meeting of the eight-member Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (Acto) since 2009.

Leaders from other tropical forest countries, such as Indonesia and the Republic of Congo, were also expected to attend. 

Amid growing concern over climate change, the summit represents a rare opportunity to discuss the future of the world’s largest rainforest.

It is also a move by Lula to reinstate Brazil in global climate change negotiations after four years of international isolation under its previous leader, Jair Bolsonaro.

Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva with other Acto member country presidents at the Amazon Summit

Lula on Tuesday pushed for a new strategy to save the rainforest and called on the wealthiest nations to help.

“Rich countries that have already destroyed their forests need to take responsibility for financing our efforts to protect our peoples,” he was quoted as saying. 

The need for regional and global cooperation on climate change has “never been so urgent.”

Acto this week drafted a joint statement aiming to unite the Amazon nations ahead of the Cop28 climate talks in Dubai this year.

According to Bloomberg and local Brazilian media, the 13-page document states the necessity of avoiding a point of “no return” in terms of Amazon deforestation and biodiversity loss, by increasing safeguards and heightening legal enforcement to combat environmental crimes and drug trafficking. 

It also calls for the creation of a new financial mechanism to attract funding from regional and global banks to support sustainability in the Amazon.

This has been backed by a pledge thought to be $25 billion from a coalition of development banks earlier this week. 

The document reportedly does not contain commitments on some issues such as ending illegal deforestation, which Lula has pledged to do in Brazil by 2030.  

The UAE’s Al Suwaidi backed Lula’s comments on funding.

He agreed that developed nations’ stalled $100 billion a year pledge falls short of the trillions of dollars actually needed to keep global warming at the maximum 1.5 degrees Celsius increase set by the Paris Agreement. 

And developed countries need to provide the bulk of the resources to help emerging economies tackle the impacts of climate change, he added. 

“This is something that was promised a long time ago and needs to be delivered. We need to pull out all the stops,” Al Suwaidi said.

Belém is expected to host the United Nations’ Cop30 climate summit in 2025. 

Meanwhile, Cop28 president-designate Sultan Al Jaber met with Brazil’s health minister at the Amazon Summit.

They agreed on the need to invest in sustainable, climate resilient, health systems as part of climate change goals. 

He will meet officials from other Acto member nations over the next two days.