World leaders once again agree to fund international action against climate change and to phase out fossil fuel subsidies
World leaders have re-asserted their commitment to mobilising up to $100bn a year in funding by 2020 to help developing nations tackle climate change, after this week agreeing a new economic plan to support the UN's upcoming Sustainable Development Goals.
The major global pact comes after three days of negotiations at the UN's financing for development summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where 193 of the world's countries came together to agree a range of sustainability measures.
The agreement also saw nations reaffirm their commitment to phase out subsidies for fossil fuels, stating they "encourage wasteful consumption", and calls for taxation on fossil fuel industries to be restructured.
Some of the planned $100bn will be used to support the sustainable industrialisation of developing countries, the agreement states, with a particular focus on energy efficiency, pollution, and climate change.
"This agreement is a critical step forward in building a sustainable future for all," said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. "It provides a global framework for financing sustainable development... The results here in Addis Ababa give us the foundation of a revitalised global partnership for sustainable development that will leave no one behind."
The deal seeks coherent policy, financing, trade and technology frameworks, as part of an international drive to protect ecosystems, and states that governments, businesses and households will need to change their behaviour towards resource consumption.
The formal agreement is anticipated to be adopted by 150 world leaders at the Sustainable Development Summit in New York in September, where governments are also scheduled to agree a new series of Sustainable Development Goals to replace the Millennium Development Goals.
In addition, the latest commitment to providing climate funding for developing countries will add to the growing sense of optimism surrounding December's Paris Summit, where world leaders will attempt to finalise a major new international climate change accord.
However, anti-poverty campaign group ActionAid criticised the deal, claiming it will not help mobilise further funding and amounts to "nothing more than empty rhetoric".
Harjeet Singh, ActionAid International's climate policy manager, said, "The question that was asked still remains: how are we going to fund climate change and address its effects?
"While we were happy to see the suggestion of removing inefficient fossil fuel subsidies on the table, the document asked for no commitment by the member states and provided no plan of action," he added. "It is nothing more than empty rhetoric."
The UN recently launched a new Green Climate Fund that will be tasked with distributing the climate funding provided by governments, declaring it open for business earlier this year.
However, developing nations have repeatedly criticised industrialised nations for not paying enough into the new fund and it is widely accepted that additional, as yet undefined, funding mechanisms will need to be agreed if the $100bn target is to be met.
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