Europe, US debt crisis may hit climate fund flows

Vishwanath Kulkarni New Delhi | Updated on November 20, 2017

The Euro zone debt crisis and recessionary fears in the US may prove to be a threat to the global climate change agenda.

Experts feel that developed nations may not be able to keep up their commitment of financing the climate change mitigation initiatives of developing countries.

“With the developed economies in doldrums, the flow of funds to help mitigate climate change will be impacted. The political appetite for such initiatives including stringent mitigation measures will be reduced,” said Dr Pradipto Ghosh, Distinguished Fellow at TERI and former Environment Secretary.

As a result, the global climate change agenda could possibly suffer a set back, said Dr Ghosh, who was also on the Prime Minister's advisory committee on climate change.

As the funding is largely voluntary in nature, the disbursements are unlikely to materialise due to the financial crisis.

At the Copenhagen climate talks in 2009, the developed world had promised $30 billion in ‘Fast Start Finance' to help the poor countries to deal with climate change between 2010 and 2012.

It had also agreed to start long-term finance of $100 billion a year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries.

Durban talks

Climate financing is one of the hot and controversial issues for the upcoming climate talks in South Africa. So far, the developed nations have pledged about $27 billion and committed less than $7 billion for 2010.

“With crisis in Europe, I don't expect the developed nations to take out any additional money for climate change mitigation, other than already committed,” said Mr Chandra Bhushan, Deputy Director-General, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

The burden of climate change mitigation is seen shifting from rich to poorer countries.

“The developing countries should keep in mind that additional money will not be available when they go to Durban climate talks. They should negotiate with this in mind,” Mr Chandra Bhushan added.

“There will be a greater reluctance in the developed world to commit larger sum as it is imperative for the leadership there to address the financial situation,” said Dr Arabinda Mishra, Director, Climate Change, TERI.

As far as India is concerned, the crisis will not have any impact on the domestic climate change agenda. “This is because all the domestic initiatives are internally funded,” Dr Ghosh said.

Published on August 10, 2011

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