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Keeping the Climate-Finance Promise

In 2009, the world’s rich countries pledged to mobilize $100 billion a year by 2020 to help poor countries tackle climate change. Since then, that promise has come to be regarded as a key test of the developed world’s resolve to do its part in the fight against global warming.

LONDON – In 2009, the world’s rich countries pledged to mobilize $100 billion a year by 2020 to help poor countries tackle climate change. Since then, that promise has come to be regarded as a key test of the developed world’s resolve to do its part in the fight against global warming.

Reaching the $100 billion target is important. Poor countries must believe that rich countries will honor their pledges. Otherwise, the prospects for an effective international agreement at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in November and December could be at risk.

Fortunately, there are encouraging signs that the commitment will be honored. But larger financial flows are needed, particularly from the private sector. According to the OECD and the Climate Policy Initiative, developed countries collectively mobilized $52.2 billion in 2013 and $61.8 billion in 2014 to help poor countries reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and build resilience against the effects of climate change that can no longer be avoided.

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