UN summit must show real action not back away from climate crisis urgency

Press release, 23 September 2019
At the start of the UN Climate Action Summit, IIED director Andrew Norton said:

“This summit needs to live up to its name and produce effective, meaningful action to cut emissions and provide support to those who need it most.

“Rich countries must step up their response to this crisis and surpass the poorest countries’ ambitious climate commitments. It is unacceptable that those most able – and historically responsible – are failing to provide both sufficient emission cuts and the money needed to reach the US$100 billion a year promised to help developing countries address climate change. Too little finance and support are reaching the people living in the most vulnerable areas. This has to change.

“Many new initiatives will be announced today. But for the summit to be considered effective, they need to address what the poorest countries are asking for rather than be determined by international partners and donors.

“This summit is an important opportunity for all governments to raise their commitments to tackle climate change and prove they will not back away from the urgent action that the climate emergency demands.”

Media enquiries

For more information or to arrange an interview, 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% – $1 in $10 – of the $17 billion climate finance committed from international climate funds by 2016 were prioritised for local-level activities. Read ‘Delivering real change: getting international climate finance to the local level’.
  • For more about the least developed countries (LDCs), read ‘Time to redress the globally unjust cost of climate change’. This shows that although the LDCs only experience one in five of the extreme climate events, they suffer seven in 10 of the deaths from these disasters.
  • In its latest report, IIED shows that struggling families in rural Bangladesh spend almost $2 billion a year on preventing climate-related disasters or repairing damage caused by climate change. This is twice as much as the Bangladesh government and nearly 12 times the amount Bangladesh receives in multilateral international climate financing in absolute terms, according to the latest data. Read ‘Bearing the climate burden: how households in Bangladesh are spending too much
  • 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.
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