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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Financing, a Key Variable to Confront Climate Change

Paris, Dec 13.- In the fight against climate change, financing is confirmed today as a fundamental variable to comply with the commitments enshrined in the Paris Agreement, but the origin of that financing has become the apple of discord.

After the One Planet Summit held in Paris yesterday under the auspices of French President Emmanuel Macron, it is clear that without funds, it will be impossible to implement project that will contribute to stopping global warming and mitigating its effects on the planet.

'Financing can and should be and will be a decisive factor, as well as the difference between winning or losing the war,' United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said before heads of State and Government and ministers from 127 countries participating in the summit.

Two years after the Paris Agreement, which focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions to limit the increase in the planet's temperature, 'we are not winning the war,' Guterres warned, while Macron was more radical when he said that 'we are losing the battle'.

They referred in those terms to the stalemate in complying with international commitments, a phenomenon that is essentially linked to the lack of funds.

For that reason, the One Planet Summit mobilized several international stockholders with the objective of seeking funds from both the private and the public sectors, thus involving governments, institutions, banks, companies and other finance-related actors.

However, some countries noted that in this struggle, the main role should be played by the public sector.

In that regard, the Cuban minister for Science, Technology and the Environment, Elba Rosa Perez, noted that 'although efforts have been mobilized globally so that several sources can contribute to financing on climate, we cannot overrate the role of private flows, because they are very unstable and volatile.'

In consequence, she added, public financing must continue to be a priority, either through global or bilateral mechanisms or through North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation.

For his part, Bolivian President Evo Morales expressed concern about the possibility that the duty to fund is transferred to the private sector, and warned that privatization of that responsibility would have irreversible consequences.

The head of State noted that 'we cannot respond with more capitalism to a crisis caused by capitalism,' adding that the structural causes of climate change are related to a standard of production and living that does not develop in harmony with nature.

The Bolivian president also highlighted the need to recognize and pay the historic climate debt of the industrialized countries, which continue to break their financial commitments in that sphere.

Guterres demanded that 'the rich countries comply with their commitment and contribute 100 billion dollars a year until 2020 to support the developing countries.'

According to the UN chief, 'the developing countries are not responsible for the problem that they have to face, so it is a matter of justice that the developed nations help them in this combat.'

In that regard, he noted that the Green Fund for Climate must become an efficient instrument, above all for the most vulnerable countries, like the small insular States and the least developed nations.

Precisely, the States from the South have raised their voices to reaffirm that in the light of climate change, the responsibility is common but differentiated, and must be materialized in the financial issue.

Ecuadorean Environment Minister Tarsicio Granizo noted that the financing on climate 'is a debt of the industrialized countries to the States of the South, because at the time, those countries appropriated a common asset that is the atmosphere to develop and caused the problems that are affecting us now.'(Prensa Latina)