DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A prominent developing-world leader on the issue of climate change said Monday that global taxes on the financial services, oil and gas, and shipping industries could drum up hundreds of billions of dollars for poorer countries to adapt and cope with global warming.
Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley focused on how poorer countries, with help from richer countries and international finance, could shoulder the astronomical costs for the world to adapt to climate change, reduce its future impact, and pay for losses and damage caused as climate trouble like floods, forest fires and heat waves rip through communities.
The U.N. climate summit known as COP28, which is being presided over by the head of the United Arab Emirates’ biggest oil company, put its attention Monday on how developing countries could possibly pay trillions of dollars that experts say they will need to cope with global warming.
“This has probably been the most progress we’ve seen in the last 12 months on finance,” Mottley told reporters about pledges to fund the transition to clean energy, adapt to climate change and respond to extreme weather events.
“But we’re not where we need to be yet,” she said.
Small island nations have been pushing climate finance in the negotiations, saying it’s vital for the countries to be able to adapt to rising seas encroaching on their land.
Cedric Schuster, the minister for natural resources of Samoa, said he’s optimistic that the climate talks could make headway on the finance issue, but urged that countries are still a long way off where they need to be.
Schuster, who is also chair of the Alliance of Small Island states, said Samoans “want to be assured that they will survive … Their trust in us is to be here, to amplify their voices and for the world to understand the outcome of their concerns and for us to make sure the right global decisions are made.”