EU needs international climate finance roadmap: auditors

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 17, 2013 12:51 PM

LONDON (Reuters) - The European Union needs to establish a roadmap to outline how it plans to increase climate finance for the world's poorest countries to 22-29 billion euros by 2020, according to a report on Tuesday by European auditors.

The report from the European Court of Auditors said without financial support the effects of climate change could push millions of people in developing countries back into poverty.

The EU and its 28 members are the largest source of finance to help developing countries deal with climate issues. They provided 7.3 billion euros ($10.04 billion) in climate finance to developing countries from 2010-2012, according to the European Commission.

But there are no clear plans on how the bloc will help to meet a promise made in 2009 at climate talks in Copenhagen for rich nations to provide up to $100 billion annually by 2020, the report said.

"The Commission should propose a road map ... for the scaling up of climate finance towards the Copenhagen Accord 2020 target," it said, adding the European Commission has estimated the bloc's contribution should be 22-29 billion euros a year by 2020.

The EU has said 20 percent of the bloc's overall budget from 2014 to 2020 will go towards initiatives to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the worst effects of climate change. But is unclear how much of this will be spent in the EU and how much will go to poor countries.

The report also criticized the lack of collaboration between EU member states, many of which have opted to set up their own schemes to provide climate finance.

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It highlighted one case in Bangladesh where both Britain and Germany delivered two separate schemes to help supply water to the Bainpara region within a year of each other.

"Inadequate coordination meant that the possibility to combine support from various donors in one program for a more cost-effective approach was not considered," the report said.

The European Court of Auditors was set up in 1975 to improve EU financial management and report on the use of public funds.

(Reporting By Susanna Twidale. Editing by Jane Merriman)