India led rich, intense discussion on MDB reforms critical for climate action: G20 negotiatorsIndia led rich, intense discussion on MDB reforms critical for climate action: G20 negotiators

    Nidhi Khurana
    September8/ 2023
    Last Updated:

    New Delhi: Multilateral development bank reforms are essential for climate action and achieving sustainable development objectives, and India has indicated that they have been the subject of "very rich" and "intense" discussion during their G20 presidency.

    "We wanted the world to take lead on green development in the context of climate action and climate finance," Amitabh Kant, India's G20 Sherpa, said during a press briefing before the Summit. It is essential that we concentrate on the international institutions of the 21st century because both SDGs (sustainable development goals) and climate action require funding, especially for developing and growing economies in the Global South. How can we reimagine and improve them? "And our view was that the Global South, developing countries, and emerging markets, which has been a very key component of India's presidency, must be able to get long-term financing and must be able to use new instruments for financing to drive both SDGs and climate finance," he said.

    Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance Ajay Seth has said, "There has been a very rich and intense discussion, and we are highly hopeful that the discourse over the past nine months will get a positive consideration from the leaders." This refers to the ongoing debate over how to reform multilateral development banks (MDBs). And, according to Kant, the Global South and developing countries would be heard in the joint declaration issued following the G20 Leaders' Summit.

    About 1.15 degrees Celsius have been added to Earth's surface temperature. It is intrinsically linked to the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions made by developed countries since the beginning of the industrial revolution. The world's average temperature is projected to climb by about 3 degrees Celsius by the turn of the century if current trends continue.

    According to climate scientists, if we want to keep global warming to under 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, we need to slash emissions in half by 2030. If we don't, we'll see catastrophic and probably permanent consequences.

    Due to their massive historical emissions, developing countries say that wealthy countries should shoulder more of the burden of reducing those emissions and providing the means of implementation, such as finance and technology, to help developing and vulnerable countries make the transition to clean energy and adapt to climate change.

    Developed nations pledged $100 billion annually by 2020 during the UN climate negotiations in Copenhagen in 2009 to aid underdeveloped nations battle climate change. Trust has been undermined because this promise hasn't been kept at subsequent climate negotiations.

    The most recent estimate of delivery plans indicates that the USD 100 billion promise will not be completed until 2023, three years after the original target date, and even then, it would be met mostly due to increased financing from the MDBs.

    Since 2016, there has been no discernible improvement in the quality of bilateral public finance, the most important indication of the direct contribution by rich countries.

    According to the experts, most of the money given to developing nations to combat climate change and help them reach their climate goals comes in the form of loans or investments, not grants. The issue here is that the poorest nations can't afford to repay the loans they receive.

    Only roughly 5 percent was given out in grants between 2011 and 2020, with the rest coming in the form of loans or equity. North America, Western Europe, East Asia, and the Pacific accounted for 75% of all climate money during the course of the decade.

    Independent San Francisco-based climate policy organisation Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) reports that fewer than 25% of climate funding flows went to regions that are home to the majority of low- and middle-income countries.

    India has prioritised a wide range of problems during its G20 presidency, including inclusive growth, digital innovation, climate resilience, and universal access to health care.

    Eighty-five percent of global GDP, eighty percent of emissions, more than seventy-five percent of global trade, and around two-thirds of the world's population live in G20 member countries.

    Those that make up this bloc are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union (EU).—Inputs from Agencies