Advanced nations failed world on climate change: Nirmala Sitharaman

They had vowed $100 bn a year, says the Finance Minister

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday admonished advanced countries for failing to keep their financing commitments to help emerging economies cope with climate change, invoking the recent Uttarakhand disaster as an example of the vulnerabilities that need to be addressed.

The government, she said, was committed to building infrastructure that would not only revive the economy but also prove resilient to the risks of climate change. “We are looking at innovative systems that can certify [that] the resilience of the infrastructure is established. A global standard for certification for resilient infra is also something we are thinking of,” Ms. Sitharaman said at the International Conference on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.

Arguing that advanced economies had failed to fulfil their ‘quantitative commitment’ to provide $100 billion a year to help smaller countries, she pointed out that this amount itself was ‘meagre’, to begin with.

“Financing for building resilient infrastructure, during the pandemic and after it, is a critical issue. Emerging economies or, worse, the small islands and countries in Africa, are going to have serious challenges in meeting the commitments of the Paris agreement. I appeal to the advanced economies that their commitment to financing climate change and transferring technologies which are important for achieving climate related goals will have to be ramped up, sped up and scaled up,” she said.

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