By Patpicha Tanakasempipat
BANGKOK (Reuters) – Developed countries are not taking their commitment to generate $100 billion in climate finance seriously, experts meeting in the Thai capital said on Wednesday, possibly jeopardising the 2015 Paris accord.
The Bangkok talks precede a meeting in Katowice, Poland, in December, where government ministers will meet to agree on rules for the 2015 Paris accord.
Senior U.N. officials said it is hoped a draft text for negotiation on the rule book will emerge by the end of the week.
Items on the agenda include a promise to raise $100 billion a year in climate finance, from both public and private sources, by 2020 to help developing countries tackle global warming.
Discussion on the funding is being “blocked across the board” at the meeting by a group of rich nations led by the United States, said Harjeet Singh, a global climate lead at non-profit ActionAid.
“If they don’t commit to real finance, it’s all going to fall apart. Developing countries will not be able to implement their targets, which they have put forward in anticipation of the money,” Singh told Reuters.
“There is a big fear that the $100 billion target will not be met.”
The Paris accord, adopted by almost 200 nations in 2015, set a goal of limiting warming to “well below” a rise of 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times, among other things.
Meena Raman, a climate change programme coordinator at Malaysia-based Third World Network, said that the United States, which pulled out of the Paris agreement in 2017 under President Donald Trump, is watering down negotiation efforts and allowing other rich countries to show the same lukewarm commitment.
“Other rich countries are hiding behind the U.S., singing the same tune. It’s very sad,” Raman said.
“The commitment on finance is an absolute must for Poland to be a success.”
Reuters was unable to immediately reach a representative for the United States for comment.
Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama warned in an opening speech at the Bangkok conference on Tuesday that governments were unprepared for Poland.
(Editing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Nick Macfie)