In 2009, high-income countries committed in the Copenhagen Accords to mobilize US$100 billion a year by 2020 in climate finance for low- and middle-income countries. Oxfam reported on the progress of this commitment in 2016, 2018 and 2020. This year’s report finds that high-income countries have not only failed to deliver on their commitment, but also – as in previous years – generous accounting practices have allowed them to overstate the level of support they have actually provided. Moreover, much of the finance has been provided as loans, which means that it risks increasing the debt burden of the countries it is supposed to help.
International climate finance supports communities and countries on the frontlines of climate change to deal with this.
In 2009, rich countries promised to deliver US$100 billion climate finance each year by 2020.
This is not charity. Rich countries accepted their responsibility for producing the carbon emissions that have led to the climate crisis we are in richt now.
But this promise has not been met.
Based on the current accounting and reporting practices, the total climate finance that has been provided came to US$83.3 billion in 2020.
But there’s more to this story of the unmet promise: of this $83bn, only $67bn is public finance.
The rest are private investments and export credits given to exporting companies.
And that’s not it: even of the public climate finance, only a quarter is provided as grants.
The remainder is mostly loans, which is increasing the burden of debt on countries that facing a crisis which is not of their making.
Loans need to be repaid, with interest. Official reports inflate the value of loans.
The real value of the climate finance provided is only $21-24.5bn.