Activists ask G7 to provide climate finance to developing countries

Published June 13, 2024
Participants in the rally chant slogans in favour of their demand.—Dawn
Participants in the rally chant slogans in favour of their demand.—Dawn

KARACHI: Participants in a rally organised by fisherfolk and members of the civil society have demanded that the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) nations deliver climate finance to developing countries in anticipation of the 50th G7 Summit scheduled to begin in Italy on June Thursday (today).

The rally began from the Governor House roundabout and culminated in front of the Karachi Press Club.

The event was conducted as part of a series of protests across South and Southeast Asia and led by the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD), whose campaigners have been calling for climate finance that will enable developing countries to address climate change, said a press release issued here.

Speaking at the rally, Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) General Secretary Saeed Baloch said that the climate crisis was escalating, and people in the Global South were suffering from its increasingly devastating impacts.

“Extreme heat in South and Southeast Asia has forced school closures, strained power grids, disrupted food production, and caused deaths due to heat stroke,” he said.

“The unprecedented heat in most of South and Southeast Asia, and the floods in southern Brazil, remind us that developing countries are hit the hardest despite contributing the least to the climate crisis,” he added.

“The rich and industrialised countries of the Global North are most responsible for causing this crisis with their historical and current greenhouse gas emissions, and therefore they are under obligation to pay the costs of mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, and ensuring a just transition in the Global South. If they do not deliver the amount we need, we cannot limit average global temperatures to below 1.5 °C,” the PFF official said.

Qazi Khizar of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said that the Global South needed trillions, not billions.

“We reject the excuse that the world’s wealthiest nations do not have adequate funds to fulfil their obligations when the annual military expenditure of G7 exceeds $1 trillion. It is well within their ability and power to redirect these funds to climate finance. Additionally, they can raise funds for climate finance by taxing their elites and corporations, many of whom are the world’s top polluters and profiteers,” he said.

Under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), developed countries agreed to provide climate finance to cover the costs of the developing countries’ climate programmes and projects.

Climate justice activists emphasise that climate finance must be adequate, public, and new and additional to other standing financial obligations of developed countries, such as official development assistance.

Global South movements emphasise that climate finance must be delivered through grants, instead of loans that will exacerbate the debts of developing countries, and without conditions that infringe on developing countries’ self-determination.

Further, campaigners called on the governments of the Global North to immediately cancel illegitimate debts from fossil fuel projects that accelerate the climate crisis and take steps towards comprehensive debt cancellation for economic and climate justice.

Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2024

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