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Rich countries 'not delivering' on climate change promises

As a key United Nations meeting got under way, Brazil, China, India and South Africa said they were disappointed in rich countries’ failure to make good on a promise six years ago to mobilise $100bn a year by 2020 for climate finance, The Guardian has reported.

The funds, intended to help developing countries cut their greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for sea-level rises, extreme weather and other consequences of climate change, are seen as a crucial element to reaching a global warming agreement at the end of the year.

Monday’s high-level meeting of the UN general assembly was intended to help build momentum for a Paris deal in December that would keep warming to 2°C, the internationally agreed limit to avoid dangerous climate change.

However, some of the key players among the 193 countries taking part in the negotiations – and two of the world’s biggest carbon polluters in India and China – say they are frustrated with rich countries’ failure to come up with a clear plan for raising the cash to fight climate change.

By some estimates, there is less than $20bn a year in public finance making its way to developing countries for climate action – or less than a fifth of the $100bn target.

Countries in sub-Saharan Africa are spending about $5bn from their own budgets to prepare for climate change – much more than they were receiving in finance from rich countries, according to Oxfam.

The four countries said they were working hard to try to put a climate deal in place, but that finance was a crucial element to reaching an agreement.

But they also made it clear that developing countries could not be expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions without help.

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