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Fabricated Climate Funding - Mihael Gubas

The countries of the economic core falsely present their expenditures for financing climate adaptation in peripheral countries, presenting investments worth 20 billion dollars as part of the rehabilitation. However, these subsidies also include projects that have nothing to do with climate. The biggest offenders are Japan, which has included $ 1.3 billion in bridges and roads (and later power plants in Vietnam) in adjustment projects, followed by the World Bank, which has invested $ 832 million, 86 percent of which has been spent on rehabilitation projects since the earthquake in Nepal. However, the earthquake is considered a geohazard that is not caused by climate change.

There is also France, which incorrectly reported $ 104 million. As much as $ 93 million has allegedly gone to climate adaptation as part of a program to strengthen the Philippines' local government. An in-depth analysis showed that only 5 percent of the budget is earmarked for adjustment, the CARE International report notes.

According to a study by the humanitarian organization Care International, the consequences of false financial statements mean that the most vulnerable countries in the world and the least responsible for climate change receive only a fraction of the support promised to them.

The Paris Agreement requires core countries to provide increased funding, balanced between climate change mitigation and adaptation. They have committed to mobilizing $ 50 billion a year by 2020. According to the report, official OECD figures show that in 2018, donors allocated only $ 16.8 billion. Based on the most comprehensive estimate to date, CARE has calculated that figure is, in fact, incredibly lower at $ 9.7 billion.

Part of the answer to how this is possible lies in the Paris Agreement itself. The warnings and dissatisfaction of environmental activists from 2015 now prove to be completely justified. The focus of the negotiations in Paris was on lobbyists' efforts to keep the Agreement "positively framed" and not to resort to sanctions and penalties, which allowed the countries to apply its provisions in a relaxed manner, without fear of the consequences of violating the Agreement.

In collaboration with civil society organizations in Ghana, Uganda, Ethiopia, Nepal, Vietnam, and the Philippines, CARE conducted an audit of 112 projects representing 13% of the total funding for adaptation in the period 2013-2017. The survey found that climate adaptation funding was frizzy by as much as 42 percent. How finances are misrepresented boils down, according to Care International, that many institutions routinely over-report funding for climate change in peripheral countries, leaving climate budgets "short" by those mentioned above $ 20 billion.

Therefore, the Care International study highlights "the urgent need to improve the accuracy and transparency of international climate adaptation reports to meet the climate change financing objectives of the Paris Agreement." Equally relaxed is the treatment of gender inequality and poverty. The study shows that these measures have generally remained on a symbolic level, with no significant improvements on the ground. In this regard, 47 percent of adaptation projects in all six countries do not include gender equality. The Paris Agreement requires that adaptation action "should follow the state, a gender-sensitive, participatory and fully transparent approach, taking into account vulnerable groups, communities, and ecosystems."

Research shows that institutions under climate remediation obligations report projects with nothing to do with adaptation and that donors overstate the adaptation component overestimating the amounts they spend on climate adaptation. Also worrying is that "the largest financial provisions often fail to take into account the poorest in society adequately. This is especially true for infrastructure and market projects that are often financed in the form of loans. For projects assessed in Ghana and Ethiopia - both at high risk of debt trouble - 28 percent and 50 percent of total financial contributions, respectively, are secured as loans," the study said.

The report calls on donors to stop over-reporting on adjustment finance, ensure that adjustment loans do not exacerbate debt, and increase the transparency of adjustment finance reporting, with gender equality and poverty reduction integrated into adjustment activities.

Recall, according to the UN climate process, core countries have promised to mobilize $ 100 billion in climate finance annually by 2020, with the obligation to take care of the balance between mitigation projects (greenhouse gas reduction) and adaptation (to floods, droughts), etc.).

According to Climate Change News last month, the world's poorest countries have called on rich countries to provide more funds to help them adapt to climate change.

UN chief Antonio Guterres has called on donor governments and development banks to commit at least 50% of their climate finance to adaptation and resilience before Cop26 next year.

The funds invested so far amount to only 20 percent of the funds needed for rehabilitation and adaptation to climate change. The UN recently warned that the annual costs of adjustment in peripheral countries would rise to 300 billion dollars by 2030. The CARE report was released ahead of the UN summit on climate adaptation on January 25 and 26, at which world leaders will discuss strengthening adaptation funding before COP26 in November.


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