Tuesday

16th Aug 2022

Mexico tells EU to unblock climate funding

  • Climate financing is one of the keys to a global climate deal (Photo: Marina and Enrique)

Mexico, the host of the next UN climate summit, has called on the EU to release the climate funds for developing countries which it promised at last year's climate conference in Copenhagen.

"The developing world needs to see clear signals to have something in their hands at Cancun," Mexico's environment secretary, Juan Rafael Elvira, told reporters ahead of a meeting with his European counterparts in Brussels on Monday. "The developing countries want to see this money unblocked. Especially the island nations are waiting for this funding."

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At the Copenhagen meeting, the EU committed to so-called fast-start funding of €7.2 billion a year from 2010-2012 to pay for poor countries to take measures to adapt to the effects of climate change and begin making the shift to a low-carbon growth path.

The funds, including €2.4 billion this year, were intended as a trust-building exercise ahead of a decision on more substantial climate financing for the developing world.

EU finance ministers are expected to confirm the cash outlay at a separate meeting in Brussels on Tuesday. The World Bank has estimated the full cost of such efforts to be $400 billion a year by 2020.

Mr Elvira said that the outcome of the first meeting of a UN committee created in December to co-ordinate climate financing, to take place in London in April, will be "really important to show what is happening on financial transfers to the developing world."

The Spanish environment minister, Elena Espinosa, who chaired the Brussels meeting of environment ministers - their first since the Copenhagen summit - has in the past been critical of developing countries who demanded more funding from rich countries to pay for climate measures. She said that the EU ministers had heard Mr Elvira's point.

The EU for its part says that some of the funding has in fact already begun to flow and is not being blocked, but that there has yet to be a clear schedule of payments and a plan of where the money is to be allocated.

"The EU has made undertakings to less developed countries; all that remains to do is to come up with a clearer, more appropriate timetable," said Ms Espinosa.

In their meeting, the ministers however acknowledged that a binding international climate agreement is unlikely before 2012.

The ministers concluded that the results of the Copenhagen conference "reflect a political understanding on the long-term response to climate change, contain some provisions to implement rapid action, embody international solidarity and constitute a step in the continuing negotiations on a global legally-binding post-2012 agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change."

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Droughts prompt calls to cut water use amid harvest fears

With the prolonged lack of rain and high temperatures, fears have emerged over water shortages and droughts decreasing crop yields — prompting calls to use less water and reuse urban wastewater for agricultural irrigation.

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Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro is pitching his Latin American country as the answer to the world food crisis following the war in Ukraine. The traditional wheat importer has now exported three million tonnes of the grain so far in 2022.

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