Climate finance by developed countries rose 2% in 2019, but stalls on 2020 goal; OECD

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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Climate finance provided and mobilized by rich countries for developing nations surged by 2 percent annually to reach $79.6 billion in 2019 but is expected to fall short of the target of $100 billion by 2020, according to a report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

This small rise was mainly driven by an increase in public climate finance offered by multilateral institutions, while bilateral public climate finance commitments dropped, as did climate finance mobilized from private sources.

Mathias Cormann
Mathias Cormann Secretary-General

“Climate finance continued to grow in 2019 but developed countries remain $20 billion short of meeting the 2020 goal of mobilizing $100 billion. The limited progress in overall climate finance volumes between 2018 and 2019 is disappointing, particularly ahead of Cop26. While appropriately verified data for 2020 will not be available until early next year, it is clear that climate finance will remain well short of its target.”

The report comes as UN chief Mr. Antonio Guterres urged developed countries to do more to help developing economies to tackle the adverse effects of climate change and make the upcoming Cop26 conference a success.

“More needs to be done. We know those donor countries recognize this, with Canada and Germany now taking forward a delivery plan for mobilizing the additional finance required to reach the $100 billion a year goal,” Mr. Cormann added.

The report finds that public climate finance from developed countries reached $62.9 billion in 2019. Bilateral public climate finance accounted for $28.8 billion, 10 percent down from 2018, and multilateral public climate finance attributed to developed countries accounted for $34.1 billion, up by 15 percent from 2018. 

The level of private climate finance mobilization was down 4 percent at $14 billion in 2019, after $14.6 billion in 2018. Climate-related export credits remained small at $2.6 billion, accounting for just 3 percent of total climate finance.

Over the period of 2016 to 2019, Asia has been the main beneficiary of climate finance receiving 43 percent of the total on average, followed by Africa at 26 percent and the Americas at 17 percent, according to OECD data.

Climate finance for Least Developed Countries rose strongly in 2019, up 27 percent compared to the previous year, but funding for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) fell back to 2017 levels, after an increase in 2018.

The public grant financing jumped 30 percent year-on-year to reach $16.7 billion in 2019, after having remained stable during the three previous years, according to the data. The volume of public loans, on the other hand, fell by 5 percent in 2019.

Further, the report shows that more than half of total climate finance targeted economic infrastructure, mostly energy and transport, with much of the remainder going to agriculture and social infrastructure, notably water and sanitation.

“It is more urgent than ever that developed countries step up their efforts to deliver finance for climate action in developing countries, particularly to support poor and vulnerable countries to build resilience against the growing impacts of climate change,” Mr. Cormann said.

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