Home Economy G20 leaders must provide more money to fight climate change: WWF

G20 leaders must provide more money to fight climate change: WWF


New Delhi : Leaders at the ongoing G20 summit need to agree on a climate financing strategy to open a green pathway out of the global economic crisis, creating jobs, new investment and securing sustainable economic growth, international NGO WWF said Friday.

“The Heads of State who are meeting in Pittsburgh have the opportunity to come up with a climate financing package with triple impact: it stimulates investment in low carbon technologies, it creates many new jobs, and it leads to low carbon development,” Kim Carstensen, leader of WWF’s global climate initiative, said.

“Public funds can provide crucial seed capital for the development of a low carbon, clean energy economy,” said Carstensen. “Climate change action offers huge potential for new private investments and more jobs, but governments need to pave the way. Success at the G20 could effectively unlock the upcoming global negotiations in Copenhagen.”

“The costs of inaction are much higher than the costs of action,” said Carstensen. “The poorest and most vulnerable countries have an urgent need for financial support to save their people from the effects of climate change. Serious funding for adaptation is long overdue.”

WWF estimates that public funding for climate action in developing countries will soon be dwarfed by private investment if the Copenhagen climate change summit this December can come up with new clarity on how climate regulation will evolve over the next 10 to 20 years.

WWF assessment shows that public funding for climate action in developing countries needs to be at a level of $160 billion a year by 2015. “The G20 should acknowledge this level of magnitude as the ambition to be reached, and should also give the UN climate negotiation process a mandate to propose a financial architecture for managing these funds,” a WWF spokesperson added.

Countries and think tanks have complained that such numbers are unattainable. “If 20 years ago someone had worked out how much it will cost to build planet-wide mobile phone networks this would certainly have looked prohibitive,” said Carstensen. “Today, the mobile phone market is hugely lucrative, it costs far less resources than setting up land lines, and the wise use of mobile phones even contributes to solving poverty problems.”

A new coalition of international business, trade unions, research and environmental organisations has also called upon the G20 leaders to follow through on their pledges to accelerate the transition to a green economy.

In an open letter, the Green Economy Coalition which is hosted by the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development warned that G20 nations are failing to match their rhetoric with action, are delaying the transition to sustainable development and are promoting climate change through their subsidies for fossil fuel production and consumption.

It calls on G20 nations to honour aid commitments and provide new funds to enable developing nations to shift to sustainable development pathways.

The letter has been signed by heads of Consumers International, the Inspire Foundation for Business and Society, International Trade Union Confederation, WWF International, International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Global Reporting Initiative, Ecologic Institute, Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD, Bellagio Forum for Sustainable Development, IISD-Europe, the Centre for Human Ecology and the UN Environment Programme’s Green Economy Initiative.