COP22: EU climate financing still only theoretical

Developed countries pledged $100 billion to help developing countries deal with climate change. [Shutterstock]

Less than a month before the start of the COP22 climate summit in Marrakech, EU finance ministers have pledged more funding to tackle global warming. But the exact terms of this promise are yet to be defined. EURACTIV France reports.

A few weeks out from the COP22 summit, the issue of how best to finance the fight against global warming has come back onto the negotiating table of the EU’s financial bigwigs.

The Ecofin Council met yesterday (11 October) in Luxembourg to discuss and agree on Europe’s contributions to the global goals on climate financing, ahead of the big meeting starting in Marrakech on 7 November.

At the last instalment in Paris last year, leaders of the developed world pledged $100 billion per year by 2020 to support developing countries as they struggle to adapt to the realities of climate change.

Climate finance short by $5 trillion, study reveals

A further $5,300 billion of investment is needed to stabilise the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere below dangerous levels, according to a study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, an energy consultancy. EURACTIV’s partner Journal de l’Environnement reports.

“We have confirmed that the EU is committed to providing its share of the developed countries’ goal to jointly mobilise $100 billion,” said Peter Kažimír, Slovak minister for finance and president of the Council.

“Climate change is undoubtedly a very serious global challenge and swift action remains a top priority for the EU. Public climate finance will continue to play a pivotal role”, he added.

For now, the amount of climate financing counted by the OECD remains just a distant promise. The organisation estimates that in 2013-2014 the developed world provided $57 billion in climate financing. Certain developing countries, like India, have contested this figure and accused it of being overvalued.

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A row has broken out at the Paris climate talks as Indian officials accused one of the world’s leading think tanks of exaggerating the amount of money given to poor countries to help them cope with global warming.

Europe’s promise to make a fair contribution to this objective remains vague in Ecofin’s final conclusions. “In fact, there is nothing concrete in the text adopted by the finance ministers; they do not specify how they are going to increase the total amount of aid,” criticised Armelle le Comte of Oxfam France.

Before committing to any actual figure, the member states have tasked the Commission with drawing up a summary table of the state-of-play of climate financing in 2015.

This assessment is slated to be adopted before the start of the Morocco conference. But, “not all member states have yet reported their national figures and the Commission needs to process the figures before an announcement is made” a source from the Council explained to

According to a European source, the bloc’s participation should take into account “climate financing from national budgets, but also from public institutions dedicated to development”, like the French Development Agency; however, it should preclude private funding, which was partly included in the OECD’s estimate.

Climate finance eclipsed by fossil fuel subsidies

The successful conclusion of a global agreement at the Paris Climate Conference depends heavily on the mobilisation of finance for the fight against climate change. So far, international fundraising efforts have lacked intensity. EURACTIV France reports

The EU and its member states’ contribution to the $100 billion objective is of crucial importance, as the bloc represents the main provider of funding.

In a working document from 2011, the Commission concluded that the $100 billion target is achievable “assuming that the EU’s share could be about one-third of this amount”.


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