AS NEGOTIATORS began their work to stitch together the mechanisms to implement the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement, the Indian government urged developed country parties to increase the “scope”, “scale” and “speed” of money that they are mandated to provide to the developing nations to facilitate actions to fight climate change.
In a discussion paper released on Tuesday, the Finance Ministry’s Department of Economic Affairs said the provision of money was one of the key components of the “rule-book” that was being finalised at the ongoing climate change conference in Katowice, and that the developed country parties must respond to recent scientific findings, most notably, that of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and increase their financial commitments so that effective action against climate change could be taken.
Developed countries are mandated to “mobilise” at least $100 billion every year from 2020 to help the developing world deal with the impacts of climate change. The Paris Agreement also requires them to review and scale up this amount from 2025.
Arguing that the present “scope, scale and speed of climate finance” was not only “insufficient but not even being discussed properly”, the DEA paper says that money should be made available for adaptation activities as well and not just mitigation efforts. It says the $100 billion promised in 2009 was also insufficient as was evident from many recent studies.
“… this goal of $100 billion is a meagre amount in size in contrast to the actual needs assessed for developing countries in trillions of dollars,” it says, adding that even a simple adding up of all the requirements of developing countries mentioned in their climate action plans submitted to the UN climate body came to around $4.4 trillion.
“Time and again, many studies have similarly espoused the need for trillions of dollars, in new and additional financing for addressing climate change. It is time for the developed countries to wake up and take note of the huge challenge faced by the developing countries for mobilisation and provision of financial resources,” the paper says.
It points out that developed countries were lagging behind even on the delivery of the promised $100 billion and had been making false claims about making money available.
“In 2016, developed countries published a roadmap to $100 billion, which claimed that public climate finance levels had reached $41 billion per year in 2013-14. However, these claims have been contested by many… A Government of India discussion paper in 2015 noted that the only credible number is $2.2 billion in 2013-14, if we restrict to country disbursements of actual climate finance on a concessional basis. The 2017 numbers also tell a similar story. Only around 12 per cent of total pledges to multilateral climate funds have actually materialised into disbursements,” it says.