President-elect Donald Trump’s policies are likely to make it harder for developing nations to obtain the growing finance they need to combat climate change, threatening one pillar of a 2015 international agreement to slow global warming.
There is widespread unease about climate finance at the November 7-18 talks on climate change among almost 200 nations being held in Marrakesh, Morocco after Trump’s election victory.
“My only worry is the money,” said Tosi Mpanu Mpanu of Democratic Republic of Congo, who heads a group of the 48 least developed nations. “It’s worrying when you know that Trump is a climate change sceptic,” he told Reuters news agency.
Many developing nations’ promises to act under last year’s Paris Agreement set pre-conditions including increasing funds to help them limit greenhouse gas emissions and make their economies more resilient to heat waves, floods, storms and rising seas.
Without extra money, they say they won’t be able to do so much. Trump, who has called man-made climate change a hoax, wants to cancel the Paris Agreement and halt any US taxpayer funds for UN global warming programmes
If he follows through, that will threaten a collective pledge by rich nations in Paris to raise climate finance from both public and private sources from a combined $100bn a year promised for 2020.
Since Trump’s win, nations from China to Saudi Arabia have reaffirmed their support for the Paris Agreement’s goal of eliminating net greenhouse gas emissions sometime from 2050 to 2100.
“Investments in green growth can be braked … green finance can be braked,” under Trump, French Environment Minister Segolene Royal said, calling some of Trump’s climate policies “catastrophic”