Rich countries accused of inflating funding figures for climate change adaptation

Japan called loans for roads and bridges financing ‘climate adaptation’, while World Bank counted support for Nepal to rebuild after earthquake

Rich countries have overstated the funding they have provided to help the world’s poorest countries cope with the impacts of climate change such as floods and drought, according to an analysis by the charity Care International.

A careful reading of 112 projects representing 13% of global adaptation finance in 2013-2017 found all 25 donor countries collectively overestimated the amount of climate adaptation assistance by 42%.

As part of the UN climate process, the developed world has pledged to mobilize $ 100 billion in climate finance per year by 2020, with a balance between mitigation projects (carbon reduction) and ‘adaptation. During the last count in 2018, they delivered $ 16.8 billion in adaptation finance, according to the OECD – but if the overestimation levels persist, the actual amount could be less than $ 10 billion, Care said.

“This really shows that rich countries are not as concerned about meeting their climate commitments as they should be,” John Nordbo, report co-author and senior climate advocate at Care Denmark, told Climate Home News.

“We got rich by polluting the atmosphere and creating the climate problem. We try to deceive [developing countries] telling them that we are providing them with more money than in reality. It’s a shame, ”he said.

The report released Thursday named Japan as one of the biggest offenders, with an over-declaration of $ 1.3 billion. “He called projects that have nothing to do with climate change adaptation to finance adaptation, like loans for road and bridge construction projects,” Nordbo said.

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The World Bank overestimated adaptation funding by $ 832 million. He qualified 86% of the $ 328 million spent on an earthquake relocation project in Nepal as adaptation funding, despite the project responding to a geohazard not caused by climate change.

France has overstated its adaptation funding by $ 104 million. He said $ 93 million had been spent on climate adaptation as part of a program to strengthen local governance in the Philippines. Further analysis showed that only 5% of the budget was earmarked for adaptation, the report notes.

Last month the world the poorest countries appealed to the rich nations to provide more funding to help them adapt to climate change. UN chief Antonio Guterres has urged donor governments and development banks to commit to devoting at least 50% of their climate finance to adaptation and resilience before COP26 next year.

“So far, adaptation accounts for only 20% of climate finance, reaching just $ 30 billion on average in 2017-18,” he said at the Thimphu ambition summit.

This month on Warning from the United Nations Environment Program that annual adaptation costs in developing countries could reach $ 300 billion by 2030.

The Care report was released ahead of the United Nations climate adaptation summit on January 25-26, where world leaders will discuss scaling up financing for adaptation ahead of COP26 in November.

“I hope that governments in the South will talk about this and that donors will start putting more energy into the reliability of their systems,” said Nordbo.


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