The former UN secretary generalBan Ki-moonhas warned that the world’s largest fund to help developing nations weather the climate crisis remains an “empty shell”, despite decades of promises by rich nations.
“We need to see a massive acceleration in mobilising trillions of dollars needed to keep the world from climate collapse,” he said.
International climate finance from rich to poor countries is between five and 10 times short of what is needed, according to the UN. In 2020, money set aside to help poorer countries adapt to climate breakdown amounted to $29bn – far below the $340bn a year that could be needed by 2030. The largest such fund, the Green Climate Fund, stands at $11.4bn.
Rich countries have also been accused by NGOs of misleading accounting and issuing loans instead of grants.
At Cop15 in Copenhagen, rich countries promised to provide $100bn of climate finance a year every year for developing countries by 2020. However, Ban said: “After 14 years, nothing has been happening.”
Ban, is an advocate for smallholder farmers, who in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia produce 80% of the food but receive only 1.7% of climate finance. “This is irrational,” he said.
“What an injustice. If we want a world free of hunger while adapting to climate change, we need to put smallholder farmers at its centre.”