1st Oct 2020

Break-down of EU member-state climate-finance pledges revealed

A detailed schedule of pledges of early EU funding for dealing with climate change in the developing world reveals that while the EU is on track to meet promises, there is a lack of co-ordination amongst member states, with countries offering what they can, without any overall strategic approach or mechanism to ensure that the funds are delivered - and only 15 member states have made any commitment at all.

Some major EU countries, notably Italy, are missing from the list of countries that have given notice of their climate finance offers.

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A Spanish EU presidency document drawn up in February and seen by EUobserver suggests good news for the EU insofar as the figures add up to just over €7.3 billion over the next three years, slightly above the originally promised €7.2 billion.

However, the document only contains information on pledges from 15 of the EU's 27 member states. It is understood that this was the total of EU commitments that had been submitted before the document was filed away.

Twelve member states mostly from eastern Europe, Poland, Estonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia - but also Portugal. Greece, Luxembourg and major EU economy Italy - do not appear on the list.

Figures range from a total of €30,000, or €10,000 a year from cash-strapped Latvia, to €2.349 billion from the UK, almost as much as what France and Germany combined have said they will stump up: €1,260 billion a piece.

Other top-ranking donors include Sweden, on €800 million over three years, the Netherlands, on €410 million over the same period, Spain on €375 million and Denmark, who chaired the UN climate process last year, on €220 billion.

Austria has committed €120 million, Belgium €150 million, Finland €110 million and Ireland €100 million.

The Czechs have said they can give €12 million, the Hungarians €6 million and the Lithuanians €3 million.

However, Lithuania's commitment depends on the country's financial situation, and the UK's pledge depends on internal spending reviews. Prague's promise of funds also depends on the results of the parliamentary elections this month.

In addition, the European Commission itself has committed €150 million.

Furthermore, while most of the sums are to be in the form of grants, France, the UK and Hungary want the monies be a mix of grants and loans. France for its part would not like to see the break-down of which countries receive what amounts as "it will highlight huge differences between countries and open the door to criticisms," according to the document.

At last December's UN climate summit in Copenhagen, rich countries agreed to "mobilise" $100 billion in long-term climate financing by 2020, although the amount of new money coming from public funds would amount to between between €22 and €50 billion of this.

The World Bank for its part has suggested that the cost for developing countries to deal with climate change and reduce emissions will amount to some $400 billion annually by 2020.

But as a trust-building exercise before these larger sums were able to be put on-stream, they agreed to ‘fast-track' financing of $10 billion a year from 2010-2012, totalling $30 billion.

The EU was to pay its ‘fair share' of this, coming to €2.4 billion a year and totalling €7.2 billion over the three-year period.


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