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India questions OECD claim on climate finance

The estimate of $57billion in assistance during 2013-14 is flawed; the only number available is $2.2bn, says Finance Ministry paper.

November 29, 2015 07:18 pm | Updated December 04, 2021 11:33 pm IST - New Delhi

The OECD report titled ‘Climate Finance in 2013-14 and the $100 billion goal' was released ahead of the Paris Climate Change Conference. In this photo, the Eiffel Tower is seen at sunset in Paris.

The OECD report titled ‘Climate Finance in 2013-14 and the $100 billion goal' was released ahead of the Paris Climate Change Conference. In this photo, the Eiffel Tower is seen at sunset in Paris.

On a day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi >left for Paris to participate in the global climate change conference beginning Monday, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said that India has questioned the correctness of the recent Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report which claimed that significant progress had been made on a roadmap towards the goal of $100 billion in climate change finance flows annually by 2020.

In the foreword of a discussion paper titled, 'Climate Change Finance, Analysis of a Recent OECD Report: Some Credible Facts Needed', the Secretary said: “We asked our Climate Change Finance Unit of the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance, and its experts to undertake a careful review of that OECD report. Their conclusion: the OECD report appears to have over-stated progress.”

‘Plan for increased funding a must’

Mr. Das was referring to the OECD report titled ‘Climate Finance in 2013-14 and the $100 billion goal’.

The DEA paper said the OECD report had mentioned that developed countries and their private sector had provided $62 billion in climate finance flows in 2014 — up from $52 billion in 2013 — and an average of $57 billion annually over 2013-14.

The DEA paper quoted the French Foreign Minister as saying, “estimates demonstrate that considerable progress has been made. We must mobilize our efforts to provide the remaining $40 billion.” The paper then countered these claims saying, “We are very far from the goal of $100 billion in climate change finance flows annually by 2020.”

Describing the OECD as ‘a club of the rich countries’, the DEA paper said the Paris Conference and negotiators will unfortunately need to worry about the credibility of the new OECD report.

A roadmap to raise climate change finance is urgent and a must in Paris, the DEA paper said, adding that the amounts of annual climate change finance flows from rich to poor countries which are new and additional remain extremely low.

‘Report deeply flawed, unacceptable’

Terming the figure of $57 billion average for 2013-14 as one that was exaggeratedly reported by the OECD, the DEA paper said the only hard number currently available in this regard is $2.2 billion in gross climate fund disbursements from 17 special climate change finance multilateral, bilateral and multilateral development bank funds created for the specific purpose.

The report comes even as rich nations have asked emerging economies such as India to take greater responsibility in mitigating climate change.

However, India has been saying that the rich nations have over many years contributed heavily towards polluting the environment and therefore should play a far greater role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by financing and transferring the latest technology to developing and poor nations.

The OECD report is deeply flawed and unacceptable, the DEA paper said, adding that the OECD report repeats a previous experience of double-counting, mislabelling and misreporting when rich countries provided exaggerated claims of ‘fast-start climate financing’ in during 2010-12 which were widely criticized by independent observers.

Mr. Das said there was a need to establish more credible, accurate, and verifiable numbers on the true size of the mobilisation of climate change finance commitments and flows from developed to developing countries.

However, the DEA paper in a disclaimer said the views and analysis contained in it do not necessarily reflect the views of the government of India.

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