Poorest countries betrayed as division at climate talks undermine their future

As the UN climate talks head towards their conclusion in Katowice, Poland, IIED director Andrew Norton said:
Press release, 14 December 2018

“Far from picking up the pace of action needed to combat climate change, this meeting is betraying the women, children and men living in the most vulnerable countries who are already being hit by the devastating impacts of climate change. 

“This is no time for further division or demands from the wealthiest for the poorest to accept even more trade-offs at their and the planet’s expense. But ministers still have a chance to turn these talks around and demonstrate the leadership promised. 

“It is crucial they agree that the rules adopted to implement the Paris Agreement are guided by the goal of keeping temperature rise below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and for the Talanoa Dialogue to be accepted as both vital to getting us on course for effective action. Rules without this ambition are meaningless.

“Equally fundamental is for governments to be clear about the support – including climate finance – that they will give the poorest countries. Donors still have not offered meaningful accountability on support. As a result, funds cannot be tracked to the poorest countries or the poorest people at the frontline.

“The failure over the past two weeks to meet the level of urgency needed is disappointing and will have real consequences for people on the ground. There is no time to delay – or the consequences will be appalling with irreversible damage that many communities will not be able to cope with.”


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Beth Herzfeld, IIED head of media, on +44 (0)7557 658 482 or email beth.herzfeld@iied.org

Notes to editors

  • IIED estimates less than 10% of the US$17 billion climate finance committed from international climate funds by 2016 were prioritised for local-level activities. Committing these funds to every level – national, regional and local – is key. The imbalance needs to be addressed with more of this money is channelled to the local level. See ‘Delivering real change: getting international climate finance to the local level’.
  • Adaptation finance fell by almost half and commitments to the Green Climate Fund were either rehashing old commitments or conditional on parliamentary approval. According to the Climate Policy Initiative, 2018 climate finance landscape analysis estimates climate finance is increasing slowly but worryingly, adaptation finance has fallen from 18% to 10%. It estimates the global climate finance flows in 2017 were $510-30 billion with $22 billion for adaptation. Their revised estimates for 2016 is $455 billion with $22 billion for adaptation
  • IIED is a policy and action research organisation. It promotes sustainable development to improve livelihoods and protect the environments on which these livelihoods are built. IIED specialises in linking local priorities to global challenges. Based in London, UK it works in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and the Pacific, with some of the world's most vulnerable people to strengthen their voice in the decision-making arenas that affect them – from village councils to international conventions.

For more information or to request an interview, contact Sarah Grainger: +44 7503 643332 or sarah.grainger@iied.org