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EU weakens its alliance with vulnerable countries



The EU position on climate finance for the Paris climate summit was adopted today by the EU Finance Ministers. Unfortunately, it falls short of what is needed to deliver a strong deal in Paris that empowers the world’s poor to cope with the current and future impacts of climate change and to develop in a less polluting way so that their carbon emissions don’t add to the climate change problem.

According to Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, Oxfam and WWF, the EU’s weak climate finance offer risks undermining its alliance with vulnerable countries in the Paris climate negotiations.

In reaction to the conclusions of the ECOFIN Council adopted today, Wendel Trio, director of Climate Action Network Europe said: “The EU has failed to offer a credible financial support package for the Paris agreement. EU finance ministers were unable to guarantee that support for developing countries will continue to grow after 2020. They also failed to ensure that funding streams will be predictable and reliable, while this is needed for poor countries to build resilience to climate impacts and plan their own energy transition away from dirty fossil fuels. This decision will weaken the EU’s alliance with those most vulnerable to climate change”.

Geneviève Pons Deladrière, Director of WWF European Policy Office, added: “We are glad that the EU has made progress towards reaching the goal to mobilise USD 100bn per year by 2020. However, a lack of clarity on what is actually included in the figures, the inconsistent accounting method between donors – including between the EU donors themselves – and the absence of reassurances that increased climate finance is not the result of diverted development aid, play against EU efforts to build confidence ahead of Paris.

“It is ironic that the EU is calling for a transparent, robust and common framework for measuring, reporting and verification of climate finance flows to be agreed at global level and yet seems content with the existing mix of methodologies at EU level.”

Lies Craeynest, EU Climate Lead for Oxfam International, concluded: “With today’s decision, EU finance ministers are jeopardising a strong deal at the Paris climate conference. Finance ministers continue to drag their feet in spite of the rapidly increasing urgency to deliver the billions of euros needed for adaptation measures already necessitated by today’s warming. EU funds  for climate adaptation in developing countries continue to be taken  from development aid commitments without intention to seek money elsewhere.

“For success in Paris, the EU should show how it will ease the pressure on stretched aid budgets by tapping into additional financing sources such as revenue from financial transaction taxes and the EU’s polluter-pays system, the EU ETS.”