UnNeutral Opinion | The significance of Denmark breaking ranks to provide climate funding for developing nations

The significance of Denmark breaking ranks to provide climate funding for developing nations

Just last week, I wrote about the lack of funding from wealthier nations to developing countries for “loss and damage” related to climate change.

Vague “promises” have been made countless times (the last back at COP26), yet still very little (if anything) has actually been paid.

Until now. Denmark has “broken ranks” to become the first UN member state to offer funding, pledging $13 million towards initiatives that include subsidising insurance in poorer countries and support for climate-related losses in the Sahel region of Africa. 

Sure, it’s but a drop in our rising oceans compared to the billions in climate-related losses that frontline countries are expected to experience. However it feels it will do more as a signal to other richer nations, than it will to act as a survival raft. Reluctance to act has been rooted in a fear that a commitment to funding is an admission of fault, which could lead to historic polluters facing legal liabilities and virtually limitless reparations — a recent UN committee for example, found Australia had violated the human rights of the Torres Strait Islanders by failing to adequately protect them from the impacts of climate change.

But surely sweeping this under the rug isn’t going to make it go away? It’s time to face the music and pay our dues, even if the song isn’t one we particularly want to sing…