STORY HIGHLIGHTS

The world’s developed countries have committed to mobilize $100 billion a year by 2020, from public and private sources, to help developing countries adapt to the impacts of climate change and reduce their emissions.

The latest accounting of climate finance shows there is a gap of about $70 billion. Closing that gap is critical to building the trust necessary to reach a robust deal at the international climate talks in Paris in December.

he World Bank Group and others are now analyzing and working on ways to mobilize that finance.

Seventy billion dollars is about one-third of the airline industry’s fuel bill in 2012, and less than the net worth of the world’s three wealthiest people.

It’s also about one-third of the average economic losses from natural disasters every year, about one-third of the direct economic damage wrought by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, and two-thirds of the cost of damage caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

And it’s the gap in the amount of climate finance that developed countries have promised to provide to developing countries annually by 2020.

The world’s developed nations agreed in 2010 to mobilize $100 billion a year by 2020 from public and private sources to help developing countries adapt to the impacts of climate change and reduce their emissions. Studies show that while climate change will affect everyone, the poorest with the fewest resources to adapt will be hit the hardest. The Climate Policy Initiative estimates that of the $331 billion in climate finance flowing in 2013, about $34 billion flowed from developed to developing countries, leaving a gap in the annual commitment of about $70 billion.

Closing that $70 billion gap is critical to building the trust necessary to reach a robust deal at the international climate talks in Paris in December. 

The Paris agreement will address the bigger picture – the trillions of dollars in low-carbon infrastructure and economic transformations necessary to build a low-carbon, resilient future. But getting to a Paris agreement starts with the existing commitments: it means having a clear way to meet the $100 billion annual commitment by 2020.