Commonwealth Secretary General lauds Modi’s green push

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The reality is the current processes to access some of these international climate funds are quite difficult and arduous for capacity-constrained small states…reports Asian Lite News.

The whole Commonwealth will work together, harder and smarter to achieve the targets of the Paris Agreement, an international treaty on the climate crisis aiming to radically reduce carbon emissions.

And India is an intrinsic partner in this challenge. It is the largest member of the Commonwealth and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has shown that there is a will and there is a way.

“We will work together,” Commonwealth Secretary General, Patricia Scotland, whose birthplace Caribbean island suffered tremendously when it was struck by a hurricane in 2017, said.

She is in this Scottish city to convince world leaders gather for COP26 — the 2021 edition of the UN Annual Climate Change Conference — to renew and strengthen commitments to the 2015 Paris Agreement goal of keeping warming to 1.5 degree Celsius within reach.

On mobilising finance for Commonwealth nations to cope with the impacts of climate change by building long-lasting resilience and livelihood adaptation, she told the climate finance is one of the most critical elements leaders are discussing at this climate summit COP26 in Glasgow.

“Many countries have enormous ambitions to tackle the climate crisis, through plans to phase out fossil fuels and transition to clean energy, develop climate-resilient infrastructure and transform key sectors such as agriculture to be more sustainable. But financing is required to deliver any of these strategies successfully,” the Secretary General was clear in saying. More than 10 years ago at COP15, it was agreed that developed countries should provide US$100 billion each year to help developing countries adapt to climate change and cut their own emissions. However, according to the latest figures from the OECD just under $80 billion of this has been raised in 2019, so we are clearly off-target and it is frankly not enough for the climate action needed to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees.”

She candidly said the developed nations must deliver on their promises, not only to achieve results on the ground, but as a matter of trust.

The reality is the current processes to access some of these international climate funds are quite difficult and arduous for capacity-constrained small states.

This is why the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub was created in 2015 — it places highly skilled advisers in government departments to build capacity and support them in developing robust, successful funding proposals.

To date, the hub has helped countries secure about $44 million in climate finance for six countries, with projects worth US$750 million in the pipeline, she said.

Do you think vulnerability should be the core basis for allocation of climate finance, the Secretary General replied: “Vulnerability should certainly be taken into account when deploying finance to developing nations. Some nations are more vulnerable than others to the impacts of climate change, due to structural aspects beyond their control such as geography or location. In fact, this is the lived reality of many small island nations.

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