As countries gather in Glasgow this week for the long-awaited UN Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, we need to see more climate finance unlocked. As the saying goes, money makes the world go round, and that is certainly true when it comes to adapting to and mitigating the impacts of climate change.
While there has been significant investment in climate finance, the international community was not able to fully deliver on its pledge to mobilize US$100 billion per year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries. Compounding the problem, funding is coming in as loans rather than as grants, miring these vulnerable countries and their governments in more debt. They are caught in a vicious cycle that prevents them from withstanding the economic shocks foisted upon them by climate change.
During the deliberations at COP26, heads of state from countries most vulnerable to this vicious cycle will continue to seek a boost in climate finance but with a renewed emphasis on grant-based finance accessible in the immediate to short-term time horizon. Time is truly of the essence.