Environmental campaigners have described the EU’s climate finance as “woefully inadequate” after finance ministers from member states said that in 2018 the EU provided €21.7bn to help developing countries deal with climate change.
Europe remains the largest provider of public climate finance, read the conclusions from the EU’s Ecofin Council ahead of the UN climate change conference (COP25) planned in Madrid in December.
The contributions of the EU and its member states to help poorer states reduce greenhouse gases and cope with the impacts of a changing climate have more than doubled since 2013 and have increased from €20.4bn in 2017, the conclusions state.
A statement issued by the Council added that “the latest figure demonstrates the EU's determination to scale up its international climate finance contribution towards the $100bn per year goal set for industrialised countries by 2020” and that the EU is committed to engage in discussions from November 2020 for a “new collective quantified goal” by 2025.
But environmental campaigners argued that EU climate finance is growing “far too slowly” to meet the needs of the poorest people in the world.
“On top of that, most of the money is diverted from existing development aid and adaptation remains sorely underfunded,” commented Wendel Trio, director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, a coalition of groups working on climate change.
In October, governments from 27 countries promised at a conference in Paris to top up the UN Green Climate Fund, which supports economically underdeveloped parts of the world to respond to the climate crisis.
Seven European countries confirmed commitments to double their previous contributions, while others were criticised for missing the target.
Ecofin conclusions on climate finance.