India says that OECD claim of $57 billion in 2013/14 for “climate finance” was grossly exaggerated and actually only $2.2 billion

The propaganda tsunami for the Paris climate conference is reaching a peak just in time for the 147 leaders who fly in for today’s opening. Many organisations and lobby groups and newspapers have brought out special issues and reports to sell their viewpoint. No matter how little Paris agrees on, it will be presented as a major breakthrough (too many have now invested too much to allow any other spin).

The OECD is one such organisation and they have just issued a report “Climate Finance in 2013-14 and the USD 100 billion goal” to try and show the position of the developed nations that a great deal of “climate finance” is already flowing.

OECD Climate-Finance in 2013-14

The OECD claims that developed countries and their private sectors had provided $62 billion in climate finance flows in 2014 — up from $52 billion in 2013 — and an average of $57 billion annually over 2013-14.

But this is all spin and hot air. All kinds of money flows are, by tortuous reasoning, allocated to “climate finance”. The Indian government’s Department of Economic Affairs is not amused.  They have performed a due diligence on the OECD’s claims of $57 billion disbursement in 2013/14. They find double-counting, mislabelling and misreporting and find that  “the only hard number currently available in this regard is $2.2 billion in gross climate fund disbursements from 17 special climate change finance multilateral, bilateral and multilateral development bank funds created for the specific purpose”The DEA report goes on to say “the Paris Conference and negotiators will unfortunately need to worry about the credibility of the new OECD report”.

Of course the OECD wants to show numbers bigger than they are and developing countries such as India want to show them as small as possible. The very concept that man-made emissions are going to control climate is arrogant, decadent and deeply flawed.  But climate conferences are about money flows not about climate.

The Hindu

The estimate of $57billion in assistance during 2013-14 is flawed; the only number available is $2.2bn, says Finance Ministry paper.

On a day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi left for Paris to participate in the global climate change conference beginning Monday, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said that India has questioned the correctness of the recent Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report which claimed that significant progress had been made on a roadmap towards the goal of $100 billion in climate change finance flows annually by 2020.

In the foreword of a discussion paper titled, ‘Climate Change Finance, Analysis of a Recent OECD Report: Some Credible Facts Needed’, the Secretary said: “We asked our Climate Change Finance Unit of the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance, and its experts to undertake a careful review of that OECD report. Their conclusion: the OECD report appears to have over-stated progress.” ….. 

The DEA paper said the OECD report had mentioned that developed countries and their private sector had provided $62 billion in climate finance flows in 2014 — up from $52 billion in 2013 — and an average of $57 billion annually over 2013-14.

The DEA paper quoted the French Foreign Minister as saying, “estimates demonstrate that considerable progress has been made. We must mobilize our efforts to provide the remaining $40 billion.” The paper then countered these claims saying, “We are very far from the goal of $100 billion in climate change finance flows annually by 2020.”

Describing the OECD as ‘a club of the rich countries’, the DEA paper said the Paris Conference and negotiators will unfortunately need to worry about the credibility of the new OECD report. …… 

Terming the figure of $57 billion average for 2013-14 as one that was exaggeratedly reported by the OECD, the DEA paper said the only hard number currently available in this regard is $2.2 billion in gross climate fund disbursements from 17 special climate change finance multilateral, bilateral and multilateral development bank funds created for the specific purpose. ……

The OECD report is deeply flawed and unacceptable, the DEA paper said, adding that the OECD report repeats a previous experience of double-counting, mislabelling and misreporting when rich countries provided exaggerated claims of ‘fast-start climate financing’ in during 2010-12 which were widely criticized by independent observers.

Reporting of the Paris conference will see a lot of spin. But there are only 2 real questions

  1. Are any emissions targets legally binding? and
  2. Are any money flows legally binding?

And I expect nothing of substance will be legally binding – thank goodness.

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