• Date: 16/05/17
  • Reuters

With money for action on climate change already in short supply, an estimated $300 billion a year needed to help countries deal with unavoidable climate losses will have to come from innovative new sources, such as a financial transaction tax or carbon tax, researchers say.

Funding for such climate “loss and damage” aims to assist people who lose their land to sea level rise, for instance, or are forced to migrate as drought makes growing crops impossible in some regions.

“What stands out most clearly is that there isn’t currently enough funding to even begin thinking about financing loss and damage, with available climate, development, risk reduction and disaster recovery financing all falling short by an order of magnitude,” said researchers at the Berlin-based Heinrich Böll Foundation.

In a report released at the U.N. climate negotiations in Bonn, now heading into their second week, researchers said about $50 billion a year would be needed by 2020 to help people who lose their land and culture or are forced to migrate as a result of climate-related problems.

That need would likely hit at least $300 billion a year by 2030, said report authors Julie-Anne Richards, who works in the foundation’s climate justice programme, and Liane Schalatek, the foundation’s North America associate director.

Such spending would come on top of $100 billion a year in funding by 2020 that richer nations have already promised poorer ones under the Paris Agreement to help them develop cleanly and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

But that pledge is “very unlikely” to be met, the report said, with U.S. President Donald Trump, for instance, saying he will not hand over $2 billion in U.S. payments promised to the international Green Climate Fund.

To find new cash to pay for “loss and damage”, innovative financing such as a new carbon tax, aviation tax or financial transaction tax should be considered, the authors said. Such money “could fairly and predictably fill much of the loss and damage finance gap”, the report said.