G7 finance needed to unlock progress on climate action before COP29

It is hard to believe it was just 6 months ago at COP28 in Dubai when we rang in the end of the fossil fuel era but also raised the alarm on the lack of finance for climate action.

Here at Bonn (the technical intersessional negotiations between COPs), the silence on both these issues has been deafening.

Trillions are required to meet the escalating needs in low- and middle-income countries, but high-income countries have offered no reply at this session to these demands or the growing evidence quantifying these needs.

Lack of progress on finance has translated into a lack of progress across the board. Unsurprising really, since finance is needed to unlock action.

In the meantime, tensions created by the lack of a proposal from high-income countries on the scale of finance have been instrumentalised by others wishing to avoid progress on ending fossil fuels.

This helps no one and leaves the process stuck.

So where should we go from here?

Finance commitments – This weekend the G7 needs to step up strongly and demonstrate they are serious about their responsibility to provide climate finance. Fair taxes on wealthy polluters and ending harmful subsidies can generate new public finance at scale.

      Political leadership – The Troika (Presidents of COPs 28, 29 and 30; UAE, Azerbaijan, and Brazil) must raise the political stakes to be able to get an agreement to deliver trillions rather than billions for the new climate finance goal and to ensure all countries to submit substantially stronger Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

      Implementation action – All countries must leave Bonn with their homework assignment crystal clear – in the absence of progress at the international level to implement the agreed transition away from fossil fuels in a just way, this has to be done at the national level through new NDCs that deliver the COP28’s outcomes in practice and keeps 1.5°C alive.

      Without money on the table or willingness to act on the agreements already made, the path to an ambitious new climate finance goal at COP29 in Azerbaijan and a new round of NDCs that really do keep 1.5°C alive, remains unclear. Every single political moment between now and COP29 must count and must make the progress that has not been made here in Bonn. 

      All eyes now turn to the G7 summit this weekend, UNGA in September, and G20 during COP29 to unlock progress and break the silence by starting a drumbeat to COP29. We cannot address the climate crisis without finance and climate justice, and there really is no more time to waste.