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Report: Rich nations exaggerated how much funding they gave to help world’s poorest countries cope with ‘climate change’

By Isabelle Gerretsen |

Rich nations have exaggerated how much funding they provided to help the world’s poorest countries cope with climate change impacts such as flooding and drought, according to analysis by charity Care International. EURACTIV’s media partner, Climate Home News reports.

A close reading of 112 projects representing 13% of global adaptation finance in 2013-17 found the 25 donor countries collectively overreported the amount supporting climate adaptation by 42%.

Under the UN climate process, the developed world has committed to mobilise $100 billion of climate finance a year by 2020, with a balance between mitigation (carbon-cutting) and adaptation projects. At the last count in 2018, they delivered $16.8 billion in adaptation finance, according to the OECD – but if overreporting levels persisted, the true amount could be less than $10bn, Care said.

“It really shows that rich countries are not as concerned about living up to their climate commitments as they should be,” John Nordbo, report co-author and senior climate advocacy adviser at Care Denmark, told Climate Home News.

“We have become rich by polluting the atmosphere and creating the climate problem. We try to trick [developing countries] by telling them we provide more money than we actually do. It is a disgrace,” he said.

The report published on Thursday (21 January) singled out Japan as one of the biggest offenders, with overreporting of $1.3 billion.

“It labelled projects that have nothing to do with climate adaptation as adaptation finance, such as loans for road and bridge construction projects,” said Nordbo.