(Bloomberg) -- Global talks ahead of this year’s COP29 climate summit must find a way to boost the share of clean energy investments in emerging economies, which has “remained flat” over the last 10 years, the International Energy Agency chief said.

Discussions about increasing funds to help poorer countries fight global warming and how the money will be divided among them are still ongoing, “with different if not opposing views on the topic,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said in an interview.

Ahead of COP29 in Baku, Azerbaijan in November, countries are working out details of a new annual climate finance goal, which is likely to be at least hundreds of billions of dollars. The topic has become controversial at UN summits, as a previous climate finance goal set in 2009 to deliver $100 billion per year by 2020 to poorer nations was only hit once, in 2022, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. 

Birol said overall global clean energy investments are growing significantly, but the amount of money going to emerging and developing countries has “remained flat” at 15% of the total amount since 2015. It is currently about $250 billion, he said. 

“So this, in my view, is the fault line of our journey to reach our climate target,” he said. “This will be the key topic for our high level dialogues with our colleagues from Azerbaijan and the rest of the countries.”

Along with who should receive funding, one of the biggest points of tension on climate finance is who should contribute to climate change’s ever-growing bill. Developed countries argue that all high-emitting nations need to pitch in funding. China and Saudi Arabia, among others, have insisted the responsibility lies with developed nations who contributed the most to historical emissions of planet-warming gases. 

Birol didn’t wish to give his view on how much the new so-called New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG) should be, but indicated historical emitters should be the most on the hook. “I would like to see more efforts from these countries,” he said.

Birol and COP29 President Mukhtar Babayev co-chaired earlier this month the first of a series of high-level talks, which are crucial in the climate diplomacy calendar leading up to the annual United Nations climate summit. Birol was also in the United Arab Emirates this week where he met with the UAE president, who presented him an award for the IEA’s contribution to last year’s COP28 summit in Dubai.

While COP28 in Dubai produced some positive results, with countries agreeing for the first time to move away from dirty energy, Birol said more work needs to be done to bring transparency to the process of monitoring pledges, especially when it comes to methane emission reductions, deployment of renewable power and doubling the rate of energy efficiency.

For this, Birol said the IEA is working on a tracking process with the UNFCCC, the climate body that runs COP meetings, for progress on pledges made at COP28 throughout the year.

The IEA will also publish a world energy investment report on June 6 to show how much money went to fossil fuels, country by country, and the amount spent on renewables in 2023-2024. 

“It will be a driver for the discussions for COP29 because financing is in my view today a key issue,” he said.

Birol said the next high-level climate talks will be held June 24 in London, hosted by the city’s mayor Sadiq Khan.

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