Rich countries’ latest climate finance plans still fall short of the $100 billion target they committed to in 2009 and contain a woeful lack of detail, predictability or clarity regarding delivery and timeline for future funds, international humanitarian organisation CARE said on Thursday.
It has analysed the most recent official finance plans that developed countries submitted under the Paris Agreement and found that despite vocal pledges of support for vulnerable countries from the G7 and other wealthy nations, the actual information submitted by all 24 assessed donors falls well short of what was requested and is nowhere near a roadmap that ensures rich countries deliver on their climate finance commitments.
John Nordbo, senior climate advisor from CARE Denmark and one of the report authors, said: “Over 10 years ago, rich countries agreed to take some sort of responsibility for their climate damaging high emissions and collectively committed to raise $100 billion per year in additional funding from 2020 for climate adaptation and mitigation in developing countries.
“Reprehensibly, these wealthier nations have not cared enough about their commitment to the world’s poorest people and nations to deliver clear plans for delivering these funds in the next years. The lack of substance in their climate finance plans could contribute to a breakdown in trust that puts this year’s negotiations and COP26 outcomes at risk.
“When G7 leaders meet they must put concrete increases on the table and take responsibility for developing a roadmap that ensures developed countries’ climate finance obligations are met.”
Recent reports show that the world is not yet on track to limit global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees and avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis, impacts which will take a devastating and disproportionate toll on least developed countries and small island developing states.
Many of these countries are already experiencing an increase in both slow and sudden-onset climate shocks, from desertification, food insecurity and drought to extreme weather events, flooding and pest invasions.
The increase in frequency and severity of these events is making it challenging for countries to recover from one to the next, let alone adapt or build more long-term resilience, as exemplified in India last week.
The Paris Agreement stipulates that developed countries must provide climate finance and seek a balance between support for mitigation and adaptation.
Currently, only 25 per cent of international climate finance is spent on adaptation and CARE’s new report shows that a 50/50 balance remains out of sight, with only two countries (Ireland and New Zealand) recognizing that adaptation objectives are severely underfunded and stating they will target adaptation over mitigation in the coming years.
No G7 country offered climate finance in addition to meeting UN development aid commitments. Only one G7 country (UK) made clear commitments to prioritize vulnerable countries.
Responding to CARE analysis, Mohamed Adow, Director of African think tank Power Shift Africa, said: “These findings are appalling. The UN process, and any reasonable negotiation, only works if one side can trust the other to do what is agreed and what is promised.
“Richer countries promised $100bn by 2020 and yet they have simply decided not to meet this obligation. It has been under these expectations that poorer nations have continued to collaborate in good faith, working to plot a development path without fossil fuels. Often they’ve raised concerns that rich nations don’t appear to be making finance a priority and every time those rich countries tell them not to worry, it will be there. And now we find that they will miss the target and have no plans to actually meet it.”
Sonam P. Wangdi, the Chair of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group (48 strong coalition of countries), said: “Our countries urgently need support to address the climate crisis. We look forward to the G7 delivering on promises to generate financial support to help poorer nations start a green industrial revolution and withstand the worsening impacts of climate change.”