UNGA President urges wealthy nations to honor USD 100 billion annual climate funding pledge

President of the 76th session of UNGA Abdulla Shahid addresses the General Assembly. (Photo/UN)

President of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid urged wealthy nations on Saturday to deliver on the pledge they made five years ago to provide USD 100 billion in climate funding each year to developing nations. 

He made the appeal speaking on the Global Citizen Live platform. 

In his speech, Shahid said that world leaders must raise their climate ambition. 

“To world leaders, I ask you to raise your climate ambition that is necessary for a resilient, sustainable and net-zero emissions future, by taking action now to put us on a pathway to cut global emissions in half by 2030,” he said. 

“And I ask wealthy countries to deliver on their promise five years ago to provide $100 billion every year in climate funding for developing countries.” 

He said that half of the funding must go towards adaptation to climate change’s impacts which are already being felt. 

Shahid said that climate change is the greatest threat the world has ever faced. 

“It literally threatens the existence of our species,” he said. 

Shahid also noted that Maldives and other small island states could disappear underwater by the end of the century if the world fails to take quick action. 

“I come from the Maldives, one of the first countries that could be impacted by sea level rise. The Maldives, and other small island states, could disappear underwater by the end of this century if the world does not act quickly and cohesively to combat climate change and the catastrophic effects of more than 1.5 degrees of global warming,” he said. 

He called on the world to work together to combat climate change. 

“We must each own the climate crisis. It affects all of us. We can’t go back to how things were before this pandemic; we have to build back better,” he said. “We can do this, but only if we do it together. And I believe we have it in us to pull through.”