Most Developing Countries Spend More on Debt Service than on Addressing Country Climate Crisis Challenges
"Wealthy countries pledged to provide some resources for developing countries to address the growing climate crises that are impacting their people," said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. "The commitments weren't enough and what was committed hasn't materialized. The climate summit needs to find out where the money is coming from and how to increase resources to address the climate crisis."
Delegates seek to finalize details on a fund to compensate developing countries for climate-related damage that last year’s climate conference agreed on. A 24-country committee tasked with developing details on contributions and operational aspects of the fund, released its proposal earlier this month.
“The Dubai negotiations need to finalize the funding and structure of the loss and damage climate fund so vulnerable countries get some relief soon,” added LeCompte. "Ninety percent of developing countries pay more on debt service than on climate spending. Debt relief and new sources of aid will need to be on the table if we are to raise the resources we need."
A range of governments, experts and civil society organizations are pushing climate summit negotiators to agree on a number of ways for countries to raise resources, including debt relief. Proposals and decisions include addressing which countries need debt relief, climate clauses in debt contracts, controlling interest rates and cheap loans.
According to the OECD, the pledge wealthy countries made in 2009 to transfer $100 billion in annual climate finance to developing countries, remains unfulfilled. The Dubai gathering assesses progress as well as to continue negotiations towards a new climate goal starting in 2025.
“With what we know about climate today and the impacts on our health and planet, the new climate finance goal should be much larger than 2009,” shared LeCompte. "In addition to the climate crisis, countries are wrestling with food and fuel crises, poverty, poor economic growth and shocks from the pandemic."
G20 leaders meeting in New Delhi in September agreed that $100 billion a year is the floor for any new climate finance commitments.
“During the summit, it will be crucial to watch the G20 and the IMF as they are key for setting climate goals and moving forward the resources we need,” said LeCompte.