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Thursday, 03 October 2013

EU admits double-counting climate finance and development aid

EU officials have admitted for the first time that member state donations to the developing countries can simultaneously count towards meeting climate change obligations and development commitments, such as providing 0.7% of gross income for overseas aid.
An EU official told EurActiv, on condition of anonymity, that “it is totally normal that such amounts of money could be counted against ODA commitments, since their primary objective is to contribute to poverty alleviation and also partly or fully contribute to climate change objectives,”
In 2005, EU states pledged to meet the 0.7% spending target for overseas aid by 2015 in line with the UN’s eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Europe pledged additional funding to support ‘fast start’ climate finance over the 2010-2012 period. But it has now been revealed that some of the same monies may have been counted towards the meeting of both sets of targets at the same time.
The EU’s development commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, said that he is “not in favour of artificial boundaries between financing for different policy goals.” On the contrary, a synergy between development and the fight against climate change is needed, he said. By attempting to merge the Rio+20 agenda with the Millennium Development Goals after 2015, this is what international institutions hope to achieve, he claimed.
But development NGOs say that counting the same money twice in the process – for climate and development purposes – is unfair to developing countries and it is not in line with the expectation of a fair deal towards 2015. The EU should not considered as ‘new’ or ‘additional’ the funding which would have been granted anyway, EurActiv reports.
Eva Joly, the French Green MEP and chair of the European Parliament’s development committee, also warned against the danger to use the ODA for environmental purposes. “You cannot solve the development problem by putting all your money into energy production for instance, because you still need to fund health, education and all the other objectives in the MDGs,” she added.

Source: EurActiv