EU finance ministers failed to make any new commitments on climate finance at a meeting on Tuesday, rebuffing calls from the bloc’s parliamentarians and NGOs to ringfence EUA revenue for foreign aid.
Despite some 15 conclusions being adopted on climate finances following the Economic and Financial Affairs Council, ministers reiterated that public money will continue to be used for climate finance beyond 2020 and flagged that the bloc’s current commitments were increasing year-on-year.
NGOs were disappointed that these resolutions included no firmer guarantees of climate finance ahead of crunch UN climate talks in Paris next month.
“This decision will weaken the EU’s alliance with those most vulnerable to climate change,” said Wendel Trio, director of green group coalition CAN Europe.
EU member states are divided on whether to ringfence EUA cash to help poorer countries cut GHG emissions or adapt to the effects of climate change.
Development charity Oxfam view it as a relatively secure way for the bloc to assure developing nations that the EU is making good on an international climate finance commitment for industrialised nations to moblise $100 billion a year in aid by 2020.
The ringfencing issue has struggled to gain traction because while much of the bloc’s climate change policy is decided at EU level, spending is largely determined by member states, according to EU treaties.
It remains possible that the issue could be raised by EU environment ministers during the Paris talks as a potential bargaining chip to win over poorer nations.
“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,” said Oxfam’s Lies Craeynest.
By Ben Garside – firstname.lastname@example.org