Revealed: Rich countries fall ‘miserably’ under their climate pledges, driving the poor into even more debt


“Forcing poor countries to repay a loan to deal with a climate crisis they barely caused is deeply unfair. Instead of supporting countries facing increasing droughts, cyclones and floods, rich countries are crippling their ability to cope with the next shock and increasing their poverty.” Credit: Credit: Manipadma Jena/IPS.
  • by Baher Kamal (Madrid)
  • Inter Press Service

The real value of climate finance is a third of what developed countries Report reveals that many rich countries are using “unfair and misleading” accounting “to inflate their climate finance contributions to developing countries” – by as much as 225% by 2020, according to research by Oxfam International.

Blowing up the numbers

The report estimates between just US$21-24.5 billion as the “true value” of climate finance to be provided in 2020, against a reported US$68.3 billion of public funding provided according to rich countries (in addition to mobilized private financing totaling up to 83.3 billion US dollars).

The global climate finance target should be $100 billion a year, slightly more than the $83 billion spent by the world’s largest nuclear powers in one year – 2021, on such weapons of mass destruction.

In addition, “the combined profit of the largest energy companies in the first quarter of this year is close to $100 billion,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said as early as August, adding that it was “immoral” that major oil and gas companies report “record profits” as prices rise.

“Very misleading”

Moreover, the contributions of rich countries not only fall woefully short of their promised target, but are also very misleading because they often count the wrong things in the wrong way. They exaggerate their own generosity by painting a rosy picture that obscures how much actually goes to poor countries,” said Nafkote Dabi, Oxfam International Climate Policy Lead.

Mostly loans

“Our global climate finance is a broken train: drastically flawed and puts us at risk of reaching a catastrophic destination. There are too many loans to poor countries that are already struggling with climate shock.”

There is too much “unfair” and “shady” reporting. As a result, the most vulnerable countries are ill-prepared to face the wrath of the climate crisis, Dabi warned.

“manipulation” of rich countries

Oxfam research found that instruments such as loans are reported at face value, ignoring repayments and other factors. Too often, funded projects are less climate-focused than reported, leaving the net value of aid specifically geared to climate action significantly lower than the actual reported climate finance figures.

Currently, loans dominate more than 70% (48.6 billion US dollars) of public climate finance, contributing to the debt crisis in developing countries.

“Forcing poor countries to repay a loan to deal with a climate crisis they barely caused is deeply unfair. Instead of supporting countries facing increasing droughts, cyclones and floods, rich countries are crippling their ability to cope with the next shock and increasing their poverty.”

The foreign debt repayments of the least developed countries amounted to 31 billion US dollars in 2020.

Such ‘financing’ is mainly based on loans

“A climate finance system based primarily on loans only exacerbates the problem. Rich countries, especially the most polluting countries,” says Dabi.

An important way to avoid a large-scale climate catastrophe is for developed countries to deliver on their $100 billion commitments and actually address the current accounting gaps in climate finance. Manipulating the system only means that poor countries, which are the least responsible for the climate crisis, pay the climate bill,” Dabi said.

Stop all efforts

Other findings from this global confederation, which includes 21 member organizations and affiliated organizations, show that since 1991, the year when a mechanism to address costs was first proposed, an average of 189 million people per year have been affected by extreme weather-related events. in developing countries climate effects on low-income countries.

The report, The Cost of Delay, from the Loss and Damage Collaboration – a group of more than 100 researchers, activists and policymakers from around the world – shows how rich countries have repeatedly halted their efforts to provide dedicated funding to developing countries that bear the costs of a climate crisis they have caused little.

Six fossil fuel companies

“Analysis shows that in the first half of 2022, six fossil fuel companies together made enough money to cover the costs of major extreme weather and climate-related events in developing countries and still have nearly $70 billion in profits left over.”

The report finds that 55 of the most climate-sensitive countries have suffered climate-induced economic losses totaling more than half a trillion dollars in the first two decades of this century, while fossil fuel profits skyrocket, leaving people in some of the the poorest places on earth have to settle scores.

Super profit. And mass deaths

It also reveals that between 2000 and 2019, the fossil fuel industry made enough superprofits to cover the costs of climate-related economic losses in 55 of the most climate-sensitive countries, nearly 60 times more.

The report estimates that since 1991, developing countries have experienced 79% of recorded deaths and 97% of the total recorded number of people affected by the effects of extreme weather events.

The analysis also shows that the number of extreme weather and climate-related events experienced by developing countries has more than doubled during that period, with more than 676,000 deaths.

The entire continent of Africa produces less than 4% of global emissions and the African Development Bank recently reported that the continent lost between five and 15% of its gross domestic product (GDP) per capita growth due to climate change. .

Huge profit

Lyndsay Walsh, Oxfam’s climate policy advisor and co-author of the report said: “It is an injustice that polluters who are disproportionately responsible for increasing greenhouse gas emissions continue to reap these huge gains, while climate-vulnerable countries have to foot the bill for the climate that takes lives. destroying people’s homes and jobs.”

Meanwhile, business continues as usual, besides manipulating the numbers and making the poor even more indebted. The biggest polluters – the private fossil fuel companies are making increasing profits, and the politicians of rich countries will increase their subsidies for these fuels to nearly seven trillion by 2025.

© Inter Press Service (2022) — All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service

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