Turn the page on poverty

‘One Planet’ climate summit mostly out of touch with the needs of those most threatened by climate change

The needs of people living in poverty and suffering from the effects of climate change were mostly put aside at the “One Planet” climate change summit in Paris, said Oxfam.

Armelle Le Comte, Oxfam France’s climate change lead said: “Governments missed an opportunity today; they’ve yet to step up their financial commitments to match their rhetoric. While President Macron promised to increase France’s contributions to climate change adaptation, his new pledge is frustratingly out of touch with the huge financial needs of developing countries.”

One positive development was the United Kingdom’s multimillion dollar commitment to provide funds for climate-vulnerable countries.

“The UK’s announced measures are good news, but with millions of people in the world's poorest countries still reeling after a year of unrelenting climate disasters, it was disappointing to see little urgency from other governments to follow suit,” said Le Comte.

Despite the unsatisfactory showing by governments, individual donors and private foundations did make some notable contributions, including support for small-scale farmers at the front lines of climate change.

While these needs were mostly pushed aside, the summit did make progress in the race to cut back emissions, as the World Bank made several welcome commitments, including stopping the exploration for and extraction of oil and gas after 2019.

“We’re very pleased to see the Bank finally take this important step in the fight against climate change. The Bank had already taken encouraging moves, like restricting financing for coal and increasing funding for renewable energy; however, its ongoing financing of oil and gas exploration had been a stain on its record. We now urge them and other donors to push clean energy as the fastest and best way to bring energy to poor communities,” said Le Comte.

Notes to editors: 

•France announced a commitment to reach around $1.7 billion (€1.5 billion) by 2020, an increase of just around $351 million (€300 million) based on the previous commitment made at COP 21. This means that by 2020, less than a third of France's climate finance will go to adaptation, still far from the balance enshrined in the Paris agreement

•The United Kingdom announced around $186 million (£140 million) to “help the world’s poorest communities address the effects of climate change.”

• In the past few years, the World Bank’s IFC has adopted important safeguards for oil, gas and mining projects, including requiring consent of indigenous communities and disclosure of payments to governments from these projects. The IFC must enforce these standards for its existing project portfolio.

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