Nearly 50 of the world’s least developed countries have called on rich nations to meet an eight-year old promise and pay US$2 billion to help them adapt to climate change.
The demand was made at the UN climate change negotiations that are currently underway in Bonn , Germany .
Rich countries promised the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) support for "immediate and urgent" actions on adaptation to climate change eight years ago at the seventh conference of parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Marrakech , Morocco in 2001.
The UNFCCC then created the LDC Fund with voluntary contributions from the rich countries and gave each LDC US$200,000 to carry out a National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) to identify the most urgent adaptation actions needed.
So far 39 of the NAPAs have been completed. The costs of implementing all the urgent and immediate adaptation actions identified in them would exceed US$1.6 billion, but the LDC Fund has less than US$200 million and only a handful of the identified projects have been funded.
“The LDCs are demanding that the rich countries pledge up to US$2 billion over the next five years in order to fulfil the promise they made eight years ago,” says Saleemul Huq , senior fellow in the Climate Change Group at the International Institute for Environment and Development.
“The poorest and most vulnerable countries have contributed least to climate change and will suffer most from its impacts,” says Huq. “The rich countries can and must live up to their words and massively increase their funding to compensate the least developed countries.”