Paris Summit Falls Short on Delivering Necessary Climate Finance Reform

Published Jun 23, 2023

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After two days of meetings, the Paris Summit for a New Global Financing Pact hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron, has come to a close. Leaders from countries in the Global North and South met in an effort to develop more inclusive and fair solutions around the shortfalls in climate financing for low- and middle-income countries, as well as financing to help eradicate poverty and improve public health in the Global South.

Below is a statement by Rachel Cleetus, lead economist and policy director for the Climate and Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS):

“While leaders at the Paris Summit acknowledged the significant shortfalls in climate finance and offered some new proposals, the event did not deliver the transformative breakthroughs that are desperately needed. Global South leaders offered bold, innovative solutions but did not get the response they deserved from those in power. It’s critical for leaders from richer nations to follow through and build on agreed next steps to help swiftly unlock the scale of funding low- and middle-income countries require to address the climate crisis.

“The international financial system must undergo long-overdue deep reforms to be fit for purpose in a world where climate change is driving more people into poverty and more countries into unsustainable levels of debt. Nations hit by extreme weather disasters need immediate debt relief and greater access to grants and concessional funding. The worsening and inequitable impacts of climate change—including mounting climate loss and damage—make the need for ramped-up climate finance even more urgent. Richer nations like the United States, which are responsible for the majority of global heat-trapping emissions to date, have a unique responsibility to contribute their fair share to sharp cuts in emissions and climate finance. Fossil fuel companies, whose products are directly responsible for climate change, must also be held accountable and pay for the harms they are causing.”