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Climate Aid: The $39 bn industry, mostly used to slow developing countries

Posted By Joanne Nova On June 8, 2013 @ 3:33 am In Economics,Global Warming | Comments Disabled

Climate Analytics say that developed nations have paid $35.9 billion dollars into the UN Aid program called FastStart. This was the project rescued from the aftermath of the 2009 Copenhagen climate convention.  Somehow $3 billion of private finance has been tossed in as well, making it nearly $39 billion since late 2009.

As usual, when other-people’s-money is spent on the poorest of the poor, the poor seem to get no say, and not much use out of it either.

[Bloomberg] “Seventy-one percent of the total finance went to emission-reduction ventures rather than adaptation projects such as water conservation or flood defense, today’s report shows.”

Sooner or later, the aid-recipients are going to suffer through a flood or a drought (thanks to climate-sameness). But two thirds of this aid money won’t add up to a dime’s worth of protection. Seventy percent of the funds were used to stop emissions of a fertilizing trace gas instead of preparing people against the ravages of the weather. Indeed most of the money was spent reducing something that would be considered an asset if not for the decree of climate models that we already know are wrong.

Hey, but it’s only $27 billion or so wasted.

A billion here, a billion there. Pretty soon we’ll be talking real money.

There are a lot of things we don’t know about climate but we do know CO2 emissions are strongly linked to GDP (see the UNEP graph below). Countries which don’t emit much CO2, don’t have much purchasing power (or health, wealth or electricity either). So Joy! There’s a stronger link between CO2 and wealth, than CO2 and the weather.

There is more evidence that reducing CO2 emissions will keep poor people poor than there is that it will change the climate.


CO2-emissions versus GDP graph Source: UNEP (click to enlarge).

Showing all the economic savvy that got the EU where it is today, Europeans have coughed up even more money than they promised to give.

Japan paid the most.

UPDATE:  See here and here for the breakdown for Japan, USA, NZ etc in more detail (just a table).

Strangely for a multibillion dollar project there doesn’t seem to be a lot of information about FastStart. A quick search turns up atwo year old page by The Australian Government. I wrote about that in 2011. Back then there were lots of mysteries about the funding, and things haven’t got much better.

The Climate Analytics group realize it didn’t work out that well:

One key feature was that the vast majority of the finance (more than 71%) was given for climate mitigation projects, leaving the world’s most vulnerable countries lacking the money badly needed to cope with the impacts of climate change they are already experiencing. “The world’s smallest and most vulnerable countries are not the cause of climate change, but they will be the hardest hit by the impacts. Yet the vast majority of Fast Start Finance public money has gone into mitigation projects, with little spent on adaptation. There needs to be a balanced approach for a long–‐term regime,” said de Marez.

Could it be that governments just rebadged other funds and grants and repackaged them so they could be called “climate aid”, and their government would pass the UN “good citizen” test? What if money that might have been used for foreign aid in health, microfinance or education was used to reduce the wealth of some of the poorest people in the world instead?

And all in the vain hope of warding off bad weather.


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