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Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Climate finance has emerged as the biggest stumbling block to progress at the high-stakes United Nations climate talks in Scotland in November. How the Group of 7 wealthy nations treats the issue Friday and Saturday may determine the outcome.

Why it matters: Providing the funding that was promised to developing countries might open up other areas of important conversation in Glasgow, such as setting more ambitious emissions reduction targets for 2030.

Flashback: In 2015, developed nations promised that beginning in 2020, they would provide $100 billion annually to developing nations to help them cope with the effects of climate change and transition their economies away from fossil fuels.

  • This money has never fully materialized.

The big picture: Christiana Figueres, who chaired the Paris climate talks for the U.N. and is a founding partner of the NGO Global Optimism, told Bryan that the G7's credibility is on the line.

  • "Without trust, especially between the global north and the global south, none of this is going to happen," Figueres said.
  • Speaking of the $100 billion commitment, she said: "It is a political commitment and hence it has a very, very high symbolic value as really representing the trust that the global south can or cannot have in the global economy. That's why it's important."

Between the lines: "It's a very important totemic figure in terms of trusting the word of these leaders," said Saleemul Huq, who directs a climate and development NGO in Bangladesh, on a call with reporters.

  • "To me, the issue is the credibility of the world's leaders, the seven biggest countries who have made these promises, or whether we believe anything they say at all."

The bottom line: "This is beginning to look like diplomatic ineptitude amongst the rich countries, because $100 billion really in the scale of things is not an extraordinary amount of money, and it is not beyond our capability to meet that promise, keep it, and then extend it," said Rachel Kyte, dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

What we're watching: All eyes will be on the G7 leaders' communique to spot any progress on this issue, including any specific new monetary commitments from countries.

Go deeper: CEOs push G7 on climate ahead of meeting

Go deeper

CEOs push G7 on climate ahead of meeting

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Executives representing 78 companies worth north of $2 trillion are pressing leaders of the Group of 7 major economies to work with the private sector on bold actions to address climate change.

Driving the news: They issued an open letter to G7 leaders just ahead of their meeting in the U.K. that begins this week, and they published it as a full-page ad in today's Financial Times.

Climate advocates are set up for an anxious summer

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Infrastructure talks between the White House and Congress have entered a phase that's making climate advocates extremely nervous.

Why it matters: Environmental groups and even some Democratic lawmakers are increasingly vocal with their fears that the White House will jettison central components of President Biden's climate plan during the talks, which could cause the U.S. to fall short of its new emissions targets.

Jun 10, 2021 - World

What to expect from Biden's trip to Europe

Just two pals hanging out in Cornwall. Photo: Andrew Parsons/10 Downing St. via Getty

President Biden arrived in Europe for his first foreign trip bearing what could be a game-changing pledge: 500 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to be shared with low- and middle-income countries over the next year.

The state of play: The remaining G7 members — Canada, the EU, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and this year’s hosts, the U.K. — are set to pledge at least another 500 million to bring the total to 1 billion by mid-2021, per a draft communique seen by Bloomberg.