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Tent camps for flood victims in Pakistan: The Global South is paying the price

Photo: Asim Tanveer / AP

Who is paying for the challenges of the climate crisis? Experts and climate activists believe that a new global financial pact is urgently needed to tackle this task. "The need for climate investment will increase and the current targets will be missed," said financial expert Florian Egli of ETH Zurich before the start of international negotiations in Paris. This involves money for measures to reduce emissions of climate-damaging emissions and investments to adapt to climate change, as well as payments for damage and losses already incurred.

Representatives of more than 100 countries, international financial institutions and development organisations will meet in Paris on Thursday to discuss a more solidarity-based financial system. This is intended to enable progress in the global fight against poverty and the management of the climate crisis. Participants in the summit, organized by French President Emmanuel Macron, include EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, China's Premier Li Qiang, World Bank President Ajay Banga and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. African and Asian countries are represented in large numbers at the summit.

It is true that no binding decisions will be made at the two-day summit. However, a guideline is expected to bridge the growing gap between the industrialized countries and the countries of the Global South, which are particularly affected by the consequences of climate change. Topics include debt relief for these countries and the necessary investments there to cope with global warming. As Macron said before the meeting, it is about reforming the financial system with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and public and private funds to meet the dual challenge of poverty and climate change.

With a view to the host of the next World Climate Conference – the United Arab Emirates – more should be expected, according to expert Egli. "Especially countries that have made massive profits in the oil and gas sector last year due to the war in Ukraine should be held accountable for using these profits to take global climate finance to the next level."

Friederike Röder, an activist specialising in climate finance at Global Citizen, said a new pact would have to ensure that money to tackle the climate crisis could flow to particularly affected countries in a predictable and timely manner in the future. "The current system no longer fits in with the times."