In a familiar ritual, the COP20 climate talks have been extended for an extra day as delegates struggle to reach some kind of agreement. The good news is that worthwhile emissions reductions may be achieved – but poor countries are asking: where's the money?
As negotiators enter into all all night session in Lima this Friday night, poor countries that are the main victims of climate change are asking the rich: "where's the $100 billion a year you promised?"
The Green Climate Fund was announced at the Copenhagen COP in 2009 as a $100 billion a year fund that would finance poor countries adaptation to climate change and their transition to a low carbon economy.
But so far in Lima, the rich countries have pledged just $10 billion, to be released over four years – just 2.5% of the annual sum promised. As India's Prakash Javadekar told the Guardian, "We are disappointed. It is ridiculous. It is ridiculously low."
"We are upset that 2011, 2012, 2013 – three consecutive years – the developed world provided $10bn each year for climate action support to the developing world, but now they have reduced it. Now they are saying $10bn is for four years, so it is $2.5bn."
Meanwhile the main negotiating text has scarecely progressed beyond its initial seven-page draft, with deep faultlines set between rich and poor countries.
In a nutshell, the rich countries want to keep their cash, while the poor take on emissions cuts matching their own undemanding targets.
The poor, exemplified by India, want to see the rich make deep emissions cuts and to pay up on their climate fund promises, before signing up to any emissions targets at all.
Progress has been made – but outside the UN process
The only good news is that commitments by China, the US and Europe on emissions cuts could mean significant progress towards ensuring that global average temperatures this century will rise less than predicted.
Researchers say the post-2020 plans announced recently by China and the US and the European Union mean projected warming during this century is likely to be less than expected. The downside is that, even then, the world will still not be doing enough to limit the increase in average temperatures to below 2˚C.