Rich countries have pledged $100 billion a year to develop projects against climate change. Not only did they not deliver what they promised. Investigation Reuters It was also confirmed that some of the money they invested went to strange ventures. For example: a coal plant, a hotel, and even a chain of chocolate shops.

Rich countries – and the most polluting ones – have committed themselves to Paris Agreementin 2016. The stated goal was for them to have the ability to mobilize $100 billion a year by 2020 to help countries with fewer resources adapt to climate change or cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Italy helped the retailer open chocolate shops and ice cream parlors in Asia. The US offered a loan to expand a hotel in Haiti. Belgium funded a love movie set in the Argentine jungle. And Japan: It has paid for an airport expansion in Egypt and is financing a new coal-fired power plant in Bangladesh.

Only these five projects have been added 2 thousand 600 million dollars. And four countries reported them as part of the so-called “climate finance” to the United Nations (UN), although they had little to do with the fight against climate change. But these cases are only a small sample of all the violations associated with these subsidies.

Information on climate change money is sporadic

The system is designed to cheat. The commitment was made without official guidance on what activities are considered “climate finance”. It also does not oblige governments to provide details. The UN climate change secretariat told Reuters that it is up to countries to decide whether to introduce common standards. Rich countries, of course, refused.

Cases like a coal plant or chocolate shops became known because reporters from Reuters And Big local news, a journalism program at Stanford University, asked 27 countries for details about what they reported to the UN. In addition, they reviewed publicly available documents and spoke with NGOs and other project participants. They also compared reports to the UN with information recorded by other agencies.

The descriptions of the projects being funded are usually so vague that in thousands of cases the country to which the money was intended is not even mentioned. According to the investigation, even the countries that allegedly benefited sometimes could not explain what the money was spent on.

More $65 billion, for example, was so inaccurate that it is impossible to explain what the money was spent on.. Another $500 million was claimed as part of “climate finance”, but this refers to projects that were later canceled without payment of funds.

France announced a $1.181 million loan to a Chinese bank for environmental initiatives, as well as loans totaling $267.5 million to upgrade Mexico’s metro system and $107.6 million to improve ports in Kenya. None of these plans came to fruition.

Governments justified their spending

Forced displacement in Somalia. Pablo Tosco/Oxfam. Credit: Pablo Tosco/Oxfam

Reuters forced some governments to respond. However, they justified the situation. A US State Department spokesman said the money from the hotel – part of Marriott’s hotel franchise – is going to fight climate change as it includes stormwater control.

The Belgian government defended the movie about love in the jungle because, according to him, at one point it was about deforestation. An Italian government spokesman said his government is committed to climate-sensitive funding, but did not explain how the chocolate shops achieve this goal.

Japan is the largest financier of the agreement, reportedly. According to a study carried out in Reuters. Some of them even increase emissions rather than reduce them. Among them is a coal-fired power plant the company is building on Matarbari, an island off the southeast coast of Bangladesh, to be up and running by 2024.

As for projects claimed to be investments that never came to fruition, French and American officials who participated in UN reports said the funds were documented in the year they were disbursed. They clarified that the reports are not reviewed to correct them.

The money invested is much less, notes OXFAM.

CO2 emissions earth

Of the $100 billion a year promised, governments claim they hit $83.3 billion in 2020, the year the deadline passed and the latest they reported. The international organization OXFAM published yesterday “shadow report on climate finance” which ensures that the contribution this year was much lower: maximum, about 24 thousand 500 million.

OXFAM deducts money provided as a loan, not a grant, from the total. “These funds may even harm, rather than help, local communities as they exacerbate the debt burden of countries that are already heavily indebted,” the NGO said in a statement.

Nearly all the money France puts into climate change solutions goes towards this. through loans: 92% of the total. The situation is repeated in other countries, such as Austria (71%), Japan (90%) and Spain (88%). OXFAM also draws attention to alleged support from the World Bank and other multilateral development banks: 90% of this funding in 2019 and 2020 went to poorer countries in the form of loans.

“This is deeply unfair,” he said. Nafkot Dhabi, Head of Climate Policy at Oxfam International. “They are fatally undermining important climate negotiations. They are playing a dangerous game in which we will all lose.”

The amount of money that rich countries have earmarked specifically for climate change adaptation in vulnerable countries ranges from 9 thousand 500 and 11 thousand 500 million dollarsOXFAM says. “People in the United States spend four times as much a year feeding their cats and dogs,” Daby said.

Rules for the new climate change fund

Tsunami 2004, Indonesia. AusAID

The emergency is more serious than ever. The Paris Agreement mentions the need to keep the global warming threshold at 1.5°C/2°C. The last eight years have been the hottest on record, according to a World Meteorological Organization warning issued in January.

Average global temperature is about 1.2 °C above the pre-industrial baseline. The scientific community has warned that the 1.5°C threshold could be exceeded in 2027.

Since 2012, so-called developing countries or groups acting on their behalf have been calling for more than 100 times revise the rules for using funds provided by rich countries. This, according to the review Reuters UN presentations, videos from climate meetings and fact sheets on climate negotiations.

This year there will be a new climate summit. United Nations Climate Change Conference 2023 will be held from November 30 to December 12 in Dubai. The problem of financing is meant to be a priority on the agenda: what will be the purpose of the new collection, who should contribute, for how long and under what conditions. Clear rules for real help.

Source: Hiper Textual

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