The Paris summit on finance and climate comes to an end. Time for concrete steps?

by Ryan Lee
climate finance summit

The Paris summit on finance and climate has concluded. Is it time for concrete actions?

After extensive discussions, is it now the moment for tangible solutions?

The objective of the two-day climate and finance summit in Paris, which concluded on Friday, was to establish practical measures to assist impoverished and developing nations in addressing poverty and climate change, exacerbated by the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine.

While the gathering of global leaders and financial experts lacks the authority to make formal decisions, French President Emmanuel Macron has committed to presenting a comprehensive to-do list, accompanied by a tool for tracking progress.

Macron stated, “We must generate mobilization, commitments, innovative instruments, and very real solutions that will transform the lives of those facing these challenges on the ground.”

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry shares a similar perspective, expressing that the conference aims to “achieve specific outcomes on mobilizing finance” in order to accelerate emissions reduction efforts.

Within the realm of politics, some activists and non-governmental organizations have called on summit participants to ensure that wealthy countries commit to debt relief for impoverished nations, including loan cancellations. A discussion was also held on the inclusion of a debt suspension clause for countries impacted by extreme climate events.

Furthermore, there is growing support for the implementation of a tax on greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping, with the possibility of adoption at an upcoming meeting of the International Maritime Organization in July. Certain experts believe that such a tax on shipping alone could generate $100 billion annually. A strong declaration on this matter in Paris could grant Macron a symbolic victory, particularly if it garners support from the IMO next month.

To raise additional funds, activists are advocating for a tax on the fossil fuel industry as well as financial transactions. However, these proposals appear to lack significant support from wealthier nations.

Ineza Grace, a young climate activist from Rwanda, emphasized that a positive outcome for the summit would involve the emergence of a new vision in developed countries regarding necessary actions.

“To comprehend how they can replace the existing financial structures that perpetuate the colonial framework,” she stated.

Fellow activist Greta Thunberg, speaking alongside Grace during the sideline discussions, concurred.

“The aspect of climate justice and equity has largely been excluded from global climate negotiations and discourse,” Thunberg remarked.

The first day of the summit witnessed the announcement of two agreements. French officials revealed that debt-ridden Zambia had reached an agreement with various creditors, including China, to restructure $6.3 billion in loans. Additionally, Senegal reached a pact with the European Union and Western allies to support its efforts in improving energy access and increasing the share of renewable energy to 40% by 2030.

While numerous officials from impoverished and climate-vulnerable nations attended the summit, only two leaders from the Group of Seven (G7) countries were present—Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The United States was represented by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and climate envoy John Kerry. Other attendees included China’s Prime Minister Li Qiang, Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, World Bank head Ajay Banga, and IMF President Kristalina Georgieva.

AP writer Frank Jordans in Berlin contributed to this report. ___ The AP’s climate and environmental coverage is supported by several private foundations. Learn more about AP’s climate initiative here. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about climate finance summit

What was the aim of the Paris summit on finance and climate?

The aim of the Paris summit on finance and climate was to set up concrete measures to assist poor and developing countries in tackling poverty and climate change exacerbated by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

Did the summit have the power to make formal decisions?

No, the gathering of world and financial leaders did not have the mandate to make formal decisions. However, French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to deliver a to-do list accompanied by a progress-tracking tool.

What were some of the proposed solutions discussed at the summit?

Some of the proposed solutions discussed at the summit included debt relief for poor nations, including loan cancellations, and the implementation of a tax on greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping. Activists also advocated for a tax on the fossil fuel industry and financial transactions to raise additional funds.

What outcomes were achieved during the summit?

During the summit, agreements were announced between debt-burdened Zambia and several creditors to restructure loans, as well as between Senegal and the European Union and western allies to support efforts in improving energy access and increasing the share of renewable energy.

Who attended the summit?

The summit was attended by officials from various countries, including leaders from the Group of Seven (G7) most developed countries such as French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and representatives from the United States, China, Brazil, the European Commission, World Bank, and IMF.

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InfoSeeker55 June 23, 2023 - 6:22 am

any idea wat happened in the summit? any big decisions made? im curious to know!

ClimateEnthusiast123 June 23, 2023 - 4:33 pm

wow dis summit sounds gr8! hope dey come up wid concrete solutions 4 climate change n poverty. we need action now, not just talk!

EcoWarrior87 June 23, 2023 - 7:50 pm

im glad dey talkin abt debt relief 4 poor countries, dey need it! also, tax on fossil fuel industry n shipping emissions = good idea! lets save our planet!!


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