Developed nations' failure to deliver on a decade-old commitment to pay $100 billion in annual climate financing to developing nations is a "travesty", Achim Steiner, administrator of the UN Development Programme, said on Thursday.
Wealthy nations, who are most responsible for global warming, are yet to deliver on the 2009 pledge to provide $100 billion per year to help developing nations deal with the consequences of rising global temperatures.
"A travesty. I say this with all honesty," Steiner told Reuters during an interview on the sidelines of a Group of 20 (G20) meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors at a hill resort on the outskirts of the tech hub of Bengaluru.
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"I think many countries should ask themselves whether this may be one of the most tragic errors in history, that 10 years after making such a promise, the commitment of $100 billion hasn't been delivered yet."
India's neighbouring South Asian countries Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan have been seeking bailouts from the International Monetary Fund due to an economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine conflict.
Steiner said that G20 nations need to decide on restructuring debt and haircuts have to be taken as 52 countries in the developing world are close to either facing distress or defaults.
"We need to look at some haircuts, we need to look at some rescheduling and restructuring," Steiner said.