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Climate financing is crucial to Earth’s health


Every time we welcome the new year, we all have our hopes and expectations for a better year ahead. And while these may be mostly personal or within our families, friends and immediate community, there has been a conscious effort in recent years to include the Earth’s health in our aspirations since it is intertwined with the quality of our life and overall wellbeing.


The climate projections for 2024 are not optimistic.


United Kingdom’s Met Office said last month that global average temperature for 2024 could temporarily hit the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold. Met’s forecast is that it will be between 1.34 and 1.58 degrees Celsius above the average for the pre-industrial period of 1850-1900.


We need to keep in mind that in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change that was adopted in 2015, our goal is to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius to avoid the most severe and irreversible climate change impacts.


When we temporarily hit that temperature this year, are we going to catch a glimpse of the possible scenario if we breach the limit for the long-term? It is possible according to the Met Office.


Now, the more important questions to ask include which actions are we taking to limit global warming to the ideal level, and how far can we go with the current state of climate financing.

 

Climate financing for developing nations


In my previous column article, I discussed the importance of the Loss and Damage (L&D) Fund for the Philippines and other nations that are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. This fund, which was only operationalized during the COP28 in Dubai last month, recognizes the injustices of climate change.


It is somehow meant to compensate developing nations for the harm brought by the climate crisis, because they are not the ones who contributed such massive amounts of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that caused this phenomenon, yet they are the most affected by the consequences that include extreme weather events, such as storms and floods, reduced agricultural productivity, and rising sea levels.


The L&D Fund, which addresses the harm caused by climate change due to GHG emissions, is just one form of climate financing. There are several others that are aimed at mitigation, to fund the reduction of emissions, as well as funding for adaptation to minimize the negative impacts of climate change.


For instance, the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the world’s largest multilateral fund dedicated to supporting climate action in developing countries, received a boost during the COP28. The GCF’s second replenishment included new commitments from six countries. Pledges amounted to $12.8 billion from 31 countries. More contributions are expected to pour in.


There is also the Adaptation Fund that is meant to finance concrete adaptation projects and programs in developing nations that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. New pledges totaling nearly $188 million were made to the Adaptation Fund at COP28.


Moreover, eight donor governments announced new commitments to the Least Developed Countries Fund and Special Climate Change Fund totaling more than $174 million as of the end of COP28.


These amounts seem huge, but in a global context, if we are actually treating the climate crisis as an emergency situation, then these fundings are not enough. Trillions of dollars are needed to support developing nations as they transition to clean energy solutions and implement their national climate adaptation and mitigation plans.


If we are seriously considering transforming the world into one where future generations will be able to not only survive but also enjoy a healthy planet, it is not enough that we have unity in vision and purpose; because the reality is, we need the money to make it possible.

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