EU Admits Climate Finance Cheating
EU officials have admitted for the first time that member state donations to the developing world can simultaneously count towards meeting climate change obligations and development commitments, such as providing 0.7% of gross income for overseas aid.
The lines between EU-funded projects for development and climate mitigation and adaptation often overlap and ODA funding in support of, for example, renewable energy projects can “clearly contribute to more than one objective,” an EU official told EurActiv, on condition of anonymity.
“It is totally normal that such amounts of money could be counted against ODA (overseas development aid) commitments, since their primary objective is to contribute to poverty alleviation and also partly or fully contribute to climate change objectives,” the official said.
In 2005, EU states pledged to meet the 0.7% spending target by 2015, after the UN Millennium Project said that such a sum, raised across the rich world, would allow the UN’s eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to be met.
But Europe also pledged €7.2 billion of ‘fast start’ climate finance over the 2010-2012 period – a promise it over-delivered on by €100 million – and agreed to help raise the $100 billion a year needed for a global Green Climate Fund due to begin operating in 2020. A Commission working document says that the EU should pay a third of it.
But it now appears that some of the same monies may have been counted towards the meeting of both sets of targets at the same time.
The EU’s development commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, told EurActiv that “some of these resources [raised for the Green Climate Fund] fall into the ODA definition due to their concessional character.”