Global: Key meetings must fix broken climate finance pledges to safeguard human rights

States gathering for a key climate meeting in Bonn next week in preparation for COP29 in Azerbaijan must address years of broken pledges and inadequate financial support from polluting countries by making substantive progress towards agreeing increased and binding funding commitments to help lower-income states deal with climate change, Amnesty International said today.

Recommendations published by Amnesty International ahead of the Bonn Climate Change Conference on 3-13 June, which begins negotiations due to conclude at COP in Baku in November, call on parties to prioritize secure and improved pledges to fund climate adaptation and mitigation, as well as to adequately finance the Loss and Damage Fund to enable impacted communities and individuals to recover from unavoidable climate harms.

“The quantity and quality of climate finance available to date to combat the intensifying climate crisis has been woefully inadequate. This desperately needs to change to keep global warming to within 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. With each increment of global warming, the needs of those on the frontline of this crisis will multiply, and the harms and costs will escalate,” Ann Harrison, Amnesty International’s Climate Policy Advisor, said.

“The ‘polluter pays principle’ must apply yet historical greenhouse gas emitting countries have repeatedly failed to meet their existing funding pledges. States must now seize the moment in Bonn to change course.”

If lower-income countries have any hope of adapting to climate change, it is critical that they can access sufficient, reliable, grants-based financing from high-income polluting countries, as well as other countries in a position to contribute, including high emitting G20 members and high-income fossil fuel producers. These same countries must also ensure that there is a predictable pipeline of funding that does not increase debt to adequately address the damage and harms global warming is wreaking, and to support a transition to zero carbon economies.

Amnesty International said delivering on and enhancing the pledge from last year’s COP to ‘transition away’ from fossil fuels into a firm commitment to phase out all fossil fuel production and use is essential to protecting human rights.

“Human rights must guide all climate decisions nationally and internationally. This means ensuring that civil society organizations, representatives of Indigenous peoples, and all other marginalized groups on the frontline of climate change, can meaningfully participate in these meetings, and that civic space is protected,” Ann Harrison said.

“As environmental human rights defenders and climate activists have faced a deeply worrying rise in threats and attacks globally in recent years, we are asking parties to agree concrete measures to better protect them. It is also essential that the rights of participants at Bonn and Baku are fully protected, including the rights to peaceful protest and freedom of expression.”

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