Paris's $100bn COP climate finance question

(Environmental Finance, London, 1 December 2015) The pledge of $100 billion by 2020 (from developed to developing countries) may be a nice round number for politicians to reference but it is, in fact, an arbitrary figure that is grounded in political, not scientific, analysis. And it is magnitudes below the actual need. So it is little wonder that the recent findings of the OECD study, Climate finance in 2013-14 and the $100 billion goal, were lampooned rather than lauded by many developing countries and civil society. The OECD study asserted that developed countries had mobilised $61.8 billion in 2014 and were on track to provide the $100 billion – both decidedly misleading claims. For the provision of finance to count as climate finance, money must remain in, and benefit, developing countries – governments, ordinary people, especially those who are marginalised, and local economies. Yet the majority of what the OECD study counted as climate finance ultimately benefits developed countries and their investors, banks, and corporations. The OECD counted [amongst other items] export credit financing. Export credits mean loans or loan guarantees, which again require repayment. In addition, export credit agencies are by design meant to benefit home country corporations – they are not driven by developing countries' climate priorities.