Alok Sharma makes plea to G20 leaders over climate finance: "this keeps me awake at night"

In a key speech given in Paris today, COP26 president Alok Sharma made a call to G20 leaders to pledge the money needed to make climate adaptation and mitigation measures a success, arguing that "without finance, tackling climate change is nigh on impossible".

Sharma emphasised that the $100 billion a year climate pledge – an annual figure from 2020 committed to by developed countries ahead of the Paris Agreement in order support developing countries minimise the impact of climate change – continues to be his top priortity.

He admitted that the issue of climate finance is something that keeps him awake at night, saying it is vital to the success of climate action measures.

As well as the above pledge, Sharma called on developed countries to tap into private finance to the tune of billions, with one of the key next steps being to channel this cash into developing countries in order to mobilise green infrastructure.

We outlined earlier in the year that the COP26 presidency programme has dedicated a full day to finance for adaptation to mitigation, so it will be interesting to see what the outcome of this, and Sharma's meetings this week with the IMF and World Bank, will be.

Other key highlight's from Sharma's speech include a call to those attending to COP "to come with the currency of compromise", so that a consensus can be more easily reached on key climate action targets. He also emphasised the importance of completing the Paris Agreement Rulebook, though he readily admitted that this won't be an easy feat.

Ultimately, as Sharma said in his speech the "success or failure of COP26 [referring to G20 leaders and more] is in their hands," so here's hoping that passionate debate forms a segway to concrete promises at this key COP.

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