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US To Double Climate Finance Again

climate finance

US to double climate finance again, but gap remains to $100bn

Joe Biden announced an increased US contribution to climate action in developing countries at the UN general assembly on Tuesday

The US will double its climate finance contribution to $11.4 billion a year by 2024, president Joe Biden announced at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.

During a speech at the UN in New York, Biden said his administration would work with Congress to double its April pledge of $5.7bn and “make the US a leader in international climate finance”.

The new pledge is a significant increase on previous US climate finance contributions and in line with some green groups’ demands, but does not single handedly close the global funding gap.

“This is a welcome, much-needed demonstration of the commitment by the United States to global climate action and solidarity,” said Helen Mountford, from the World Resources Institute. “It should provide a positive jolt ahead of Cop26, at a time when international solidarity is badly needed.”

Rich countries are thought to have missed a collective target to deliver $100bn annually by 2020 to help vulnerable countries reduce their emissions and cope with climate impacts. According to the OECD analysis of the most recent complete dataset, climate finance flatlined in 2019, leaving a $20bn gap that is unlikely to have closed since the coronavirus pandemic hit.

Over the past decade, the US has been a laggard when it comes to climate finance. Former president Barack Obama pledged $3bn to the Green Climate Fund, the UN’s flagship climate finance initiative, but delivered just $1bn before leaving office.

His successor Donald Trump reneged on that pledge and in 2017-18 the US delivered less climate finance than France, Germany, Japan or the UK despite having an economy larger than all of them combined.

At a leaders’ summit held on Earth Day in April, Biden promised to double finance from Obama-era levels to $5.7bn, with $1.5bn earmarked for adaptation. The pledge was criticised as inadequate by campaigners.

“The increased US contribution reduces the shortfall, but is not enough to meet the goal agreed at Copenhagen,” Sarah Colenbrander, director of climate at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), told Climate Home News.

The US’ new commitment does not reflect its fair share of the $100 billion climate goal, said Colenbrander. Based on its gross national income and cumulative emissions, the US should be providing between $43-50bln each year in climate finance, according to ODI analysis.

“Most of the remaining shortfall can be attributed to Australia, Canada, Japan, Italy and the UK. Each of these countries should be mobilising an additional $2-4 billion a year to fulfil their fair share of the current climate finance goal,” said Colenbrander.

Several NGOs subscribe to an even higher estimate of what the US owes to the developing world, based on need and the damage caused by its historic emissions: $800bn over the decade to 2030. Karen Orenstein, director of the climate and energy justice programme at Friends of the Earth, said the new pledge was “extraordinarily insufficient compared to the need and out of line with what climate science and justice demand”.

“Almost all rich countries, apart from Luxembourg, Norway and Sweden, need to commit more,” said John Nordbo from Care International. “We are inching forward on this issue, but the problem is that meanwhile, thousands more people are being displaced or dying. Climate-induced famine is destroying Madagascar, floods are sweeping across an already war torn Yemen… Considering how much money these countries have made from carbon emission-creating industries, not one of them is moving fast enough.”

In his speech to the UN, Biden said that the world was approaching a “point of no return” and reeling from “widespread death and devastation from the borderless climate crisis”. He urged all nations to bring their “highest possible ambitions to the table” when leaders meet at Cop26 in Glasgow, UK in November.

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Development

Borno To Train 100 Journalists On Capacity Building

Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum has announced plans to sponsore 100 journalists for capacity building training at the University of Maiduguri.

Zulum disclosed this at the Triennial Delegates Conference of the state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Saturday in Maiduguri.

Represented by his Special Adviser on Communications and Stategy, Malam Isa Gusau, the governor said he requested the University to organise a certificate training programme for the journalists to be funded by the state government.

He urged the council to nominate its members to participate in the programme to enhance their capacities.

While reiterating commitment to run an open door policy, Zulum assured continued support to the journalists to enable them to discharge their duties.

The Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Babakura Abba-Jato, lauded the delegates and contestants for the peaceful conduct of the exercise.

Abba-Jato represented by Baba Shiekh-Lawan, urged the contestants to accept the outcome of the election in the spirit of sportsmanship.

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Development

We Will End Crude Oil Theft Through Deployment Of Technology- F.G

The Federal Government has restated its determination to end crude oil theft through the deployment of technology as well as additional security measures.

Mohammed made the remarks at a press briefing in Abuja on Friday after an aerial surveillance of the Trans-Forcados oil pipeline in Rivers state.

According to a statement by Segun Adeyemi, special assistant to the president on media in the office of the minister, Mohammed said the measures taken so far have started bearing results, as 210 suspects have been arrested, and 365 illegal refining sites destroyed.

“The continued campaign by the government security agencies (GSAs) have led to the arrest of 210 suspects and confiscation of 20.2 million liters of AGO, 461.8 thousand liters of PMS, 843.6 thousand liters of DPK, and 383.5 thousand barrels of crude oil,” he said.

An additional 365 illegal refining sites were destroyed, with about 1,054 refining ovens, 1,210 metal storage tanks, 838 dugout pits, and 346 reservoirs destroyed by the GSAs.

“We witnessed first-hand a number of illegal refineries destroyed by our military in the course of our aerial surveillance.”

Mohammed said many vehicles, crude mining and bunkering equipment, such as speed boats, wooden boats, trucks and tankers, have also been confiscated.

He said private security contractors were also engaged to provide local intelligence on all illegal crude ventures happening within the region, adding that the contractors were also engaged for security surveillance services to ensure safe and seamless operations along the country’s pipeline networks.

“The new security architecture leverages collaboration between the upstream operators, industry regulators, government security agencies (GSA), and private security contractors (PSC),” the minister said.

 

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Development

Nigeria Has A Revenue, Not Debt Problem- Finance Minister

Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has said that contrary to widespread insinuations, Nigeria’s problem is that of revenue and not debt.

Ahmed stated this in an address at the Nigeria International Economic Partnership Forum in New York, while responding to earlier remarks by the president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, who said Nigeria needs help in tackling its debt burden.

Ahmed disagreed, arguing that Nigeria has set a debt-to-GDP ceiling at 40 per cent, which the country is yet to exceed and added that Nigeria’s revenue generation is low right now.

“We do have a revenue problem and this revenue problem, we’re tackling using the instrument of the strategic revenue initiative, the revenue challenges we have we have been addressing in a systematic manner,” she added.

Ahmed further stated that the country has a very significant impact in revenue performance based on the issues in the oil sector, which is being addressed by the security agencies.

“There are some ineffective tax incentives that are currently in process of being review, so some that have reached maturity will not be renewed, there might be some new ones that are being introduced, but we’re trying to make sure that we’re getting value for the investments that we have provided.”

She said the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiatives (SRGI) is designed around three thematic areas: achieve sustainability, identify new and enhance existing revenue stream and achieve collision within the revenue ecosystem — alignment between our people and our truths.

The minister said the government has taken on some innovative approaches to financing infrastructure, giving an example of road infrastructure for tax rebate.

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