Why climate funds may be ‘displacing’ lifesaving aid
By Paula Dupraz-Dobias
Climate-linked disasters are unleashing greater levels of damage, but billions of dollars in climate change commitments may be eating into regular aid budgets that poorer countries rely on, campaigners say.
But while the losses mount, activists say wealthier countries – who have promised up to $100 billion a year to tackle climate change in poorer nations – are consolidating their climate funding within their overseas development aid, or ODA. This means climate funds are increasingly dislodging humanitarian and development budgets normally used to respond to disasters or relieve poverty, rather than adding to existing aid.
Funding is one of the thorniest issues on the climate agenda. During last December’s UN climate summit, COP25, vulnerable countries hoped to secure so-called “loss and damage” financing to compensate for mounting disaster destruction. The meetings ended with no new commitments after pushback from wealthier nations.
No matter how it’s defined, funding for climate adaptation and mitigation measures has so far fallen short of the $100 billion target. An analysis last year by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, or OECD, estimated climate finance for developing countries at about $71.2 billion in 2017.