Government officials and diplomats from the world’s most climate-polluting nations are grappling with the issue of how to govern the vast funds being pledged to fight global warming, Italy’s climate minister said Friday.
“Paradoxically, I don’t think there is a problem of money. It is more the rules, and the strategy,” Minister for Ecological Transition Roberto Cingolani told The Associated Press.
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He spoke a day after participating in a virtual meeting where U.S. climate envoy John Kerry and representatives from two dozen nations and European and U.N. organizations talked global warming together — for the first time since November’s U.N. summit in Glasgow, Scotland.
Cingolani acknowledged the failure of leaders in Glasgow to come through on pledges of $100 billion a year to fight climate change, and said that goal cannot fail at this year’s U.N. climate summit in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt, in November. “That is compulsory,’’ he said.
But Cingolani said the longer-term issue is less the flow of funding than that the system lacks governance rules for handling huge public and private investments going forward.
“We are talking about investments that are spanning from creating an energy community in countries where there is none whatsoever, to creating a smart grid in a country that is 70% renewable,” Cingolani said.
“You can invest in so many things, and I think we need rules, the rules depend on the country where you are investing,” he added. “It is one thing to invest in Italy, another to invest in a vulnerable country.”
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He said the United States’ return to the climate change fight under President Joe Biden has helped consolidate alliances, and that China, which participated in the meeting, “is taking the challenge very seriously.”
“We know we are late. So I think the sense of urgency was very clear,’’ he said.
Thursday’s remote meeting and others that will follow are meant to keep up emissions-cutting momentum internationally between U.N. climate summits.
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It grouped the world’s worst climate polluters and biggest economies with some of the countries most endangered by the warming climate. Participants included the U.S., China, Russia, Italy, Indonesia, Bangladesh and the Marshall Islands