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ISSN 2753-7757 (Online)

Storm brews again at COP28 over climate funding


6 min read

Satellite image of hurricane clouds swirling in circles over south-east Asia Photo: Adobe Stock
The international community is still grappling with the question of who should pay for climate adaptation and net zero infrastructure

Photo: Adobe Stock

Diplomatic tensions are high ahead of the COP28 climate conference, particularly when it comes to the question of who will pay for mitigation and adaptation. Jennifer Johnson, financial journalist, reports.

It has been almost 14 years since a delegation of developed economies vowed to mobilise $100bn annually by 2020 for climate action in emerging markets. The promise was immortalised in the Copenhagen Accord – the nonbinding political agreement that came out of the COP15 summit in the Danish capital.


It is now widely agreed that the target was not met, although there is little consensus on exactly how far off the mark rich countries were. According to the OECD, they managed a not-insignificant contribution of $83.3bn in 2020. However, this has since become a contentious, and contested, figure.


In a report issued earlier this year, the charity Oxfam estimated that the real value of financial support for climate action in developing countries was somewhere between $21bn and $24bn. It claims the OECD’s figure is an overestimate because it includes both projects ‘where the climate objective has been overstated’ and loans cited at their face value. Loans, as opposed to grants, are potentially harmful to emerging markets as interest rates rise, given some of these countries already have onerous debt burdens.


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