Addressing the (Im)balance

It’s impossible not to notice that developed countries are very pleased with themselves for publishing their “Roadmap to the US$100 billion” this past October. This is even more apparent from yesterday’s joint statement on the roadmap.

ECO too is pleased to have the roadmap, don’t get us wrong. It enhances transparency on how developed countries plan to reach the collective target of US$100 billion per year by 2020. But ECO also expects further progress on patchy areas where more clarity is needed: mobilised private finance is one example that comes to mind.

The joint statement reiterates developed countries’ commitment to “significantly increase finance for adaptation”. ECO is not one to dismiss such a commitment, but by our calculations, the projected doubling of adaptation finance will leave public finance for adaptation at only 20% of the total $100 billion in 2020—not quite the agreed “balance” between mitigation and adaptation by anyone’s standards, surely.

Looking more closely, it seems a few developed countries are—how shall we put it?—dragging down the average. Some of these countries currently provide only around 10% of their climate finance for adaptation and have made insufficient or even no commitments on how this will change by 2020. Not naming any names, but those that come to mind include a country where they love baguettes, another that boasts sushi as a national dish, one where they feast on tapas, and yet another with particular challenges as of yesterday.

ECO has suggestions: Maybe the COP decision on long-term finance needs to urge developed countries to increase their adaptation funding? And perhaps those developed countries that are serious about “significantly increasing” it may want to put a little pressure on their peers who are hampering their attempts? ECO certainly will be.