Guterres tells rich nations to stump up the cash to fight climate change

UN Secretary General António Guterres (above) has said that developed economies must get serious about the finance that developing countries need to fight climate change. 

Posting on Twitter over the weekend, he said that, at a minimum, “they should stop just paying lip service to their $100 billion-a-year pledge, give clear deadlines and timelines, and get concrete on its delivery”.

His latest comments follow those made recently, spoken in the context of record temperatures causing havoc across Europe, that humanity is facing “collective suicide”.

António Guterres told ministers from 40 countries meeting to discuss the climate crisis: “Half of humanity is in the danger zone, from floods, droughts, extreme storms and wildfires. No nation is immune. Yet we continue to feed our fossil fuel addiction.”

He added: “We have a choice. Collective action or collective suicide. It is in our hands.”

Guterres also sharply criticised the “multilateral development banks”, institutions including the World Bank that are funded by taxpayers in the rich world to provide assistance to poor countries.

He said they were not fit for purpose when it came to providing the funding needed for the climate crisis, and that they should be reformed.

“As shareholders of multilateral development banks, developed countries must demand immediate delivery of the investments and assistance needed to expand renewable energy and build climate-resilience in developing countries,” he added. 

“Demand that these banks become fit-for-purpose. Demand that they change their tired frameworks and policies to take more risk … Let’s show developing countries that they can rely on their partners.”