COP18/CMP8: Don’t Offer Leap Service On Climate Change Adaptation Cash- Activists Tell Rich Countries

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Emmanuel Okella
Doha. Dec, 2012

Wealthy countries have come under attack at the ongoing climate change talks in Doha with poor countries accusing them of not walking-the-talk with regard to climate financing.

Apart from the bashing over failure to provide cash to help poor people adapt to climate change, they are also being blamed for pretense in what they have agreed to give so far.

African coalition on climate financing says much of what the developed countries have given so far has come out of existing aid budgets or in the form of loans that will need to be repaid.

Members of the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change holding a press conference in Doha. By Fredrick Mugira
Members of the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change holding a press conference in Doha. By Fredrick Mugira

The European Union and nine countries including the United States and Australia agreed during the 2009 climate change meeting in Copenhagen to make a down payment of $30billion by the end of this year on the eventual $100bn a year that must be raised by 2020.

But recent analysis by Oxfam shows that only about $24 billion has been committed and much of that is not new and additional to existing aid, as was agreed.

“How are we supposed to be holding repeated negotiations with people who don’t want to meet their part of the bargain? How shall we continue trusting them? ” asked Geoffrey Uwale, a member of the African coalition on climate financing.

“Most of what they have given the poor people, suffering consequences of their excesses has been in loans that have to be repaid with interest. Worse still, only 21% of it has been earmarked to support adaptation programs” he added.

A recent report by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) says wealthy nations have all together failed to meet their pledges to help poor countries address climate change effects. The report singled out only Japan and Norway, it said were the only ones that have contributed a fair share of their promise.

Tim Gore, the Oxfam climate change policy adviser says developing countries are heading towards a huge dilemma without any confidence that they will be supported to adapt to climate change after 2012.

“There is a real danger that climate finance will be scaled down in 2013, at a time when it needs to be scaled up.” he said.

African coalition on climate financing is asking developed countries to find new ways of raising the funding outside aid budgets so that the $100bn commitment is met without diverting money from other anti-poverty priorities such as health and education.

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