Is the Paris 2015 Climate Agreement Unravelling?

Celebrating the 2015 Paris Agreement

IRIN has published an unsettling ‘Aid and Policy’ analysis by freelance journalist, Lou del Bello, who exposes U-turns and failures to follow-through on commitments by wealthy nations, in the aftermath of the historic Paris 2015 climate change agreement.

Her analysis begins with the bold statement: “US President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to “cancel the Paris Agreement” is one step closer to reality, after leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) richest economies backtracked on pledges to allocate $100 billion per year by 2020 for climate change response.”

del Bello reports that White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told reporters that the new administration would not fund climate change programmes as it considered them “a waste of your money”.

del Bello contrasted the concluding statement of last year’s G20 meeting with this year’s. In 2016 leaders committed to providing “financial resources to assist developing countries with respect of both mitigation and adaptation actions in line with Paris outcomes.” This year, there was no mention of the Paris Agreement or Climate Change.

IRIN detail the status of pledges and contributions made to the Green Climate Fund as of March 2017 by 12 of the G20 nations. The single biggest contribution was $1 billion made by the USA under the Obama Administration. $2 billion remains outstanding and it is feared it will not materialise following Mulvaney’s comments. Of $4.834 billion pledged by the European Union, IRIN reports that there is “no data for disbursed cash from the EU” and places a zero under the delivered column.

de Bello points our that “A retreat from public financing for climate change mitigation strategies will not

Drought in Africa (Photo: UNICEF)

only shrink the overall budget; it will also disproportionately affect developing nations afflicted by poor governance and corruption.” To demonstrate this, she cites the example of Congo, ranked 156 out of 176 countries by Transparency International in corruption perception. A Greenpeace investigation unearthed a serial breach of “its own moratorium on deforestation”, for which it was receiving funds from the UN Development Programme.

A development consultant interviewed by IRIN, Alphonse Bangila, stated that the G20s apparent U-turn on climate finance “is a major turning point in international cooperation. From now on, each country will have to address the climate issue according to its own economic interests (as opposed to a global strategy).”

Somewhat cynically, Bangila added, “Maybe we will come to believe that climate change is a hoax after all.”

You can read the full IRIN article by clicking here:

 

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