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G7 Summit: Leaders urged to enhance climate finance quality for developing nations

By Faridat Salifu

As global leaders convene at the 50th G7 Summit in Italy, the focus shifts from merely mobilizing $100 billion annually in climate finance to ensuring its quality and effectiveness for developing nations.

The recent achievement, announced by the OECD, marks a significant milestone, but the escalating climate and debt crises in the Global South demand a more robust response.

Many climate-vulnerable countries are grappling with severe debt crises, compounded by declining investment flows.

Also, developing countries face the critical choice of taking more debt to build essential climate resilience infrastructure.

According to reports, in 2022, only 45 percent of climate finance to the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) was provided as grants, with the remainder comprising loans. G7 leaders must increase the proportion of grants to prevent exacerbating these nations’ debt burdens.

The current climate finance system, according to analysts, often require countries to navigate complex and time-consuming application processes. These procedures, intended to ensure proper use of funds, frequently deter the very countries most in need of support. Resources spent on lengthy applications could otherwise directly enhance climate adaptation efforts.

Frontline countries, which have the least capacity and most pressing needs, are often the least able to secure funding. Simplifying application procedures, as seen with initiatives like the Efficient Green Climate Fund, can help ensure timely and effective allocation of resources.

Transparency in climate finance is also crucial to building trust and ensuring funds are used effectively. Recent investigations by Reuters revealed that some funds, ostensibly directed towards climate action, have been misallocated to projects like coal plants and even non-climate-related ventures. Such mismanagement not only undermines trust but also diverts crucial funds from necessary climate adaptation projects.

Enhanced transparency frameworks, such as the Global Climate Action Portal, can help track climate finance flows more accurately, ensuring funds are used for their intended purposes. This accountability is essential for learning from past projects and improving future initiatives.

With COP29 just five months away, global leaders are set to adopt a new collective climate finance goal. Estimates suggest that developing countries may require up to $1 trillion annually. While such ambitious targets may be challenging for Western leaders facing economic constraints, it is crucial that available funds are used effectively.

The G7 Summit presents a pivotal opportunity to improve the quality of climate finance. By ensuring that climate finance is affordable, accessible, and transparent, leaders can significantly enhance the resilience of vulnerable nations, fostering a more equitable global response to the climate crisis.


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