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Chile to Begin Budgeting for Costs of Fighting Climate Change

Chile will begin budgeting for the costs of fighting climate change, Finance Minister Felipe Larrain announced Tuesday, as receding glaciers

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Chile, Budgeting, Climate Change
FILE - Chile's Finance Minister Felipe Larrain attends an interview with Reuters at the OECD headquarters in Paris, France, May 31, 2018. VOA

Chile will begin budgeting for the costs of fighting climate change, Finance Minister Felipe Larrain announced Tuesday, as receding glaciers and drought put a squeeze on water and natural resources in the world’s top copper producer.

The South American nation, which is due to host the COP25 global conference on climate change in December, said it would include a new line item for “climate expenditures” in its government budgets beginning in 2020.

“Currently, we don’t know how much we’re spending in the financing of climate action. The lack of information makes it difficult to make good decisions,” Larrain told reporters.

The methodology, called the Climate Public Expenditures and Institutional Review (CPEIR), is sponsored in part by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and has received funding from Germany. It includes a tool that allows countries to more precisely track how much money is spent on fighting climate change.

Chile, Budgeting, Climate Change
FILE – The Codelco El Teniente copper mine, the world’s largest underground copper mine, is shown near Machali, Chile, April 11, 2019. VOA

Larrain said the tool would allow Chile to “assess … the costs of inaction, that is, incorporate the analysis of the cost of not implementing immediate and timely measures.”

A years-long drought in Chile, coupled with a growing population and a sprawling copper and lithium mining industry thirsty for water, have forced Chilean officials to look more closely at the costs of climate change.

“The lands threatened by desertification exceed 60% of the national territory. … Having an estimate of the critical investments we must make to address the issue of desertification and soil erosion can have a great impact,” he said.

Also Read- Mosquitoes Pose Threat to More Than Half the World’s Population

The CPEIR methodology is already applied in more than 30 countries, including Colombia and Ecuador. (VOA)

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Greta Thunberg Tells World Leaders to Stop Using ‘Creative PR’

Greta Thunberg accuses world leaders of 'creative PR'

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Climate activist Greta Thunberg
Greta Thunberg a is a young climate activist from Sweden. Wikimedia Commons

Teenage activist Greta Thunberg has called upon world leaders to stop using “clever accounting and creative PR” to avoid real action on climate change.

Speaking at a UN climate change summit, Thunberg said the next decade would define the planet’s future, the BBC reported on Wednesday.

She accused world leaders of making constant attempts to find loopholes to avoid making substantial changes.

The teenage activist’s appearance came after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro called her a “brat”.

“The real danger is when politicians and CEOs are making it look like real action is happening when, in fact, almost nothing is being done apart from clever accounting and creative PR,” the 16-year-old Swede told the COP25 Climate Conference in Madrid, drawing applause.

Summits on climate change seemed “to have turned into some kind of opportunity for countries to negotiate loopholes and to avoid raising their ambition”, she added.

Greta Thunberg
Greta Thunberg said the next decade would define the planet’s future. Wikimedia Commons

The clock was ticking as the decade comes to a close, she said.

“In just three weeks we will enter a new decade, a decade that will define our future. Right now, we are desperate for any sign of hope,” she said.

This was meant to be a big moment in the talks, the elixir of the “Greta effect” bringing new energy to a flagging process.

The teenager is almost certainly the most famous person here, attracting far more attention than other celebrities like Al Gore, and the UN badly needs a boost.

Her talk came over as measured, grounded in the latest research, and avoided the flash of hurt and anger she displayed in New York in September.

Looking around the hall, it was striking how many of the national delegations had not turned up for this morning session at the conference.

A snub by the big fossil fuel economies? Or maybe they were too busy in the negotiations themselves?

In any event, the passion among the millions of young people who’ve taken to the streets to demand action on climate change feels very remote from the diplomatic struggles in these halls.

Thunberg’s speech comes after the far-right Brazilian leader lashed out at her after she expressed concern about the killing of indigenous Brazilians in the Amazon.

Also Read- “The World is Watching”, says Antonio Guterres

“Greta said that the Indians died because they were defending the Amazon,” Bolsonaro told reporters.

“It’s impressive that the press is giving space to a brat like that,” he added, using the Portuguese word for brat “pirralha”.

The activist responded by changing her Twitter bio to Pirralha. (IANS)