Developed countries provided and mobilised $115.9 billion in climate finance for developing countries in 2022, up from $89.6 billion in 2021.

Late by 2 years, rich countries meet $100bn climate finance goal for the first time

Two years late, rich countries for the first time in 2022 delivered on a longstanding pledge to channel $100 billion a year in climate finance to developing nations, according to the new data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Developed countries provided and mobilised $115.9 billion in climate finance for developing countries in 2022, up from $89.6 billion in 2021, reported Climate Home News.

The news portal added that the year-to-year increase of around 30% was the largest to date and was driven by significant funding increases from multilateral development banks – which contributed the most at $50.6 billion – individual governments and private finance mobilised by using public money to reduce investment risk.

Experts have raised issues about the data. The process is riddled with ambiguity and inadequacies,” Harjeet Singh, a climate activist, said in a statement to DTE, adding that 

much of the funding is repackaged as loans rather than grants and is often intertwined with existing aid, blurring the lines of true financial assistance. “We need more transparency in the accounting and reporting framework, especially since there is no agreed-upon definition of climate finance and what needs to be counted as part of it,” Sehr Raheja,of Centre for Science and Environment, told Down To Earth.

Notice to Assam govt over police battalion camp in Geleky reserve

The Centre sought a report from Assam government on the alleged illegal diversion in 2022 of 28 hectares of the Geleky reserve forest on the Assam-Nagaland border for a police battalion camp. HT reported the environment ministry slapped the notice citing the newspaper’s report. 

The letter is addressed to additional chief secretary (forests), Assam, a colleague of MK Yadava, the former Principal Chief Conservator of Forests who approved the diversion. Yadava, has 60 days to respond to the Union environment ministry’s notice. The use of forest land for non-forestry activities was allowed without prior approval of the Central Government, the ministry said in a letter dated March 18 asking the Assam government to stop all construction activities in the aforementioned area/ land in question. On April 10, HT reported that the same official allowed construction by a commando battalion unit in a protected forest in Hailakandi in Assam, ostensibly to stop encroachments by Mizo people from neighbouring Mizoram, creating a furore among local conservationists, compelling the Union environment ministry to take notice and direct the state government, in March this year, to immediately halt construction.

Climate change is compelling Bangkok to relocate? 

Thailand may relocate its capital Bangkok because of rising sea levels, a senior official in the country’s climate change office told AFP on Wednesday. Projections consistently show that low-lying Bangkok risks being inundated by the ocean before the end of the century. The busy Capital already battles flooding during the rainy season, the newswire reported.

Pavich Kesavawong, from the department of climate change and environment, warned that the city might not be able to adapt with the world on its current warming pathway. Bangkok’s city government is exploring measures that include building dikes, along the lines of those used in the Netherlands, he said. “Bangkok (would) still be the government capital, but move the business.” While a move is still a long way from being adopted as policy, it would not be unprecedented in the region. Indonesia will inaugurate this year its new capital Nusantara, which will replace sinking and polluted Jakarta as the country’s political centre, AFP reported. 

Paris Climate Accord is not enough to protect oceans, says international court

Greenhouse gas emissions absorbed by the ocean were considered marine pollution, and countries are obliged to protect marine environments by going further than the requirements of the Paris climate agreement, said an international marine court in its verdict. 

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Hamburg, Germany, gave its advisory opinion on whether countries have a responsibility to reduce emissions and fight climate change – a judgement that could give legal leverage to future climate cases, reported Reuters.

Germany waters down its climate protection law, drops sectoral targets 

Germany approved a “controversial” reform of the climate protection law, that eliminates sectoral targets, reducing pressure on sectors such as transportation and buildings, which previously “failed to meet their legal requirements”, Carbon Brief published the translation of the Zeit report. According to the new law, adjustments for the climate protection plan will only be necessary if Germany’s overall goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2045 is at risk.

Now, Germany will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 65% by 2030 relative to 1990, by 88% by 2040, and achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. The law’s previous version set the annual emission caps for individual sectors of the economy (energy, industry, transport, construction, agriculture and waste management) to 2030, and the relevant ministries were responsible for enforcing these caps. The amendment removes the provisions making individual ministries responsible for progress in decarbonising their respective sectors, in favour of the collective responsibility of the government as a whole. In addition, from now on, the council of experts will change its approach to evaluating progress in cutting emissions: instead of assessing the previous year’s data retrospectively, it will prepare an annual, multi-year cumulative forecast for reducing emissions across all the sectors of the economy (first by 2030, then by 2040 and 2045), reported OSW. 

Meanwhile a German court ruled that current federal measures to reduce CO2 emissions in various sectors by 2030 are deemed “insufficient” and will fall short of the government’s legally binding targets for the coming years, notes DW. Therefore, in its current form, the Climate Protection Act adopted last October “does not fully meet the legal requirements”,

Economic damage from climate change six times worse than thought: Report

Climate change is causing financial loss six times more than previously thought, says a new report, adding that global heating is set to shrink wealth at a rate consistent with the level of financial losses of a continuing permanent war. A 1°C increase in global temperature leads to a 12% decline in world gross domestic product (GDP), the researchers found. The world has already warmed by more than 1°C (1.8F) since pre-industrial times and many climate scientists predict a 3°C (5.4°F) rise will occur by the end of this century due to the ongoing burning of fossil fuels, will come with an enormous economic cost.

A 3°C temperature increase will cause “precipitous declines in output, capital and consumption that exceed 50% by 2100” the paper stated. This economic loss is so severe that it is “comparable to the economic damage caused by fighting a war domestically and permanently”, it added.

UK: Transatlantic air fares to jump under net-zero fuel rules

The cost of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF: blend of waste oils, animal fats and ethanol from corn) will be passed on UK travelers who may have to pay £40 more for a return trip to New York as a result of incoming net zero regulations, according to figures from Virgin Atlantic.

The extra burden on travellers is expected if the cost of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is passed on directly. Calculations by Virgin Atlantic, a pioneer in using the greener jet fuel, show that ticket prices would have to rise 6%. For a return flight to New York that would amount to a £40 increase at current prices, based on two one-way fares costing about £350 each, reported Telefgraph.

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