Analysis | India, China providing more climate finance to other developing countries than rich nations

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Some developing countries, including India, China and Brazil, contribute more climate-related finance through multilateral development banks than many countries in the Global North, according to an analysis by a U.K.-based website reporting on climate science and policy.

Some developing countries, including India, China and Brazil, contribute more climate-related finance through multilateral development banks than many countries in the Global North, according to an analysis by a U.K.-based website reporting on climate science and policy.

The analysis comes amid a push from developed countries to broaden the donor base for climate finance to include developing countries like China and Saudi Arabia.

For instance, in a submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on its expectations from the global stocktake in September, New Zealand said: “Different countries have different capabilities to contribute, which have changed over time. Current and historical emissions, national wealth, and a range of other factors have changed, and are continuing to change. Bifurcation based on thirty-year-old lists does not reflect the contemporary reality of where emissions are coming from, or respective capabilities to contribute.”

Citing a working paper from the global think tank Overseas Development Institute (ODI), the analysis by “Carbon Brief” highlights that many developing countries voluntarily provide finance to others for climate action, yet their contributions largely remain unrecognised as they do not report this provision.

China, India, Brazil, and Russia are among the top 20 global climate finance providers, the analysis suggested.

While China has contributed $1,236 million, India has provided $765 million in solidarity with other developing countries for climate finance. Most of this finance support is provided via multilateral development banks, it said.

Under the UNFCCC, the responsibility to provide climate finance lies with Annex II countries — high-income nations that were Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) members when the U.N. convention was signed in 1992.

Developed nations like the E.U., the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are obligated to provide a minimum of $100 billion in annual climate finance to developing countries by 2020, extending to 2025. However, they have failed to fulfil this commitment.

Developing countries do not have a similar responsibility but are ‘encouraged’ to contribute voluntary climate finance under the Paris Agreement.

As countries negotiate a new climate finance target post-2022 to replace the $100 billion goal, developed nations are making efforts to expand the list of contributors.

These go against the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities which acknowledge that countries’ efforts to combat climate change should be considered in light of their contributions to total emissions and that wealthier nations should bear primary responsibilities due to their substantial historical emissions.

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