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“International climate aid is weak, ineffective and inequitably allocated”

It is now well established that the least developed countries and island countries are the most affected by climate change while bearing the lowest historical responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions.

To remedy this injustice, so-called “climate aid” transfers have been implemented from developed countries to help developing countries protect themselves from the consequences of climate change and encourage them to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. .

However, international climate aid is weak, ineffective and inequitably allocated. The most vulnerable countries in particular receive lower amounts than emerging countries. Between 1995 and 2020, the biggest recipients were thus India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh and China. How can we explain this discrepancy between the needs and the receipt of aid for the less advanced countries?

Business interests

In order to restore “climate justice”, during the climate negotiations in Copenhagen in 2009, the rich countries committed themselves to reaching, by 2020, a common objective of mobilizing “100 billion dollars a year” [environ 93,20 milliards d’euros] aid “new and additional” to meet the challenges of climate change, in addition to the development aid already granted.

In the Paris agreement, in 2015, they confirmed the renewal of this annual aid for at least 100 billion dollars by 2025. The latest figures show that donors have not kept their promises: only 83, $3 billion was mobilized in 2020, an amount that includes private financing mobilized by the public sector. Public funding was only $68.3 billion in 2020.

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Transfers for climate change adaptation needs accounted for only 34% of the $83.3 billion. This share is higher for island countries and the least developed countries, but the mitigation of emissions remains the main climate aid for these countries whose emissions are nevertheless low. These amounts should be considered against the estimates of the United Nations Environment Program, which puts the annual adaptation needs of developing countries at between 140 and 300 billion dollars by 2030.

It is now possible to draw some lessons from this climate aid.

First, there is a correlation between the allocation of bilateral climate aid and the commercial interests of donor countries, in particular their level of exports. Would this aid be diverted from its initial target? It seems that climate aid, like other development aid, consolidates historical, cultural and commercial links (former colonies, migration, etc.).

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