Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) was glad, given the meager German climate protection record, not having to travel to Poland for the world climate conference with empty hands: The Federal Government, said Schulze in Katowice, is the first country to fill the rather empty Green Climate Fund of the United Nations up again.
The previous donation of 750 million euros will double the federal government in the coming year: 1.5 billion euros are to flow from Germany into the fund, which was adopted in 2010 at the Cancun Climate Conference. It aims to help the poorest countries adapt to climate change. „We will not leave developing countries alone to protect the climate and adapt to climate change,“ said Schulze. With the billions Germany set „a strong sign of cohesion“.
However, cohesion is sometimes interpreted quite differently by other countries in the world community. It must come to this conclusion, who checks once, who really reaches into the fund for poor countries. At the latest meeting of the board of the Green Climate Fund at the end of October, however, the supervisory boards had a hard time fending off many a blatant grip on the cash register of the poor.
Very own conception of international solidarity
To be found, for example, was a request Bahrain. As a well-known producer of oil and gas, the rich emirate is a major contributor to global climate change, but it wants international financial aid to adapt to this climate change. Ironically, the country’s „National Oil and Gas Authority“ applied for around $ 10 million from the Green Climate Fund to secure its drinking water resources during oil drilling.
The emirate is ranked 15th of the richest countries in the world and has a per capita income that is above that of the paymaster Germany. But because Bahrain was not included in the „Annex 1“ list of industrialized and OECD countries at the 1992 UNFCCC, the Gulf state must always be one of the most formally legal beneficiaries of UN negotiations in UN negotiations. The fact that the oil state is taking advantage of this speaks for its very own view of international solidarity in times of climate change.
Lutz Weilscher of the Germanwatch environmental organization is particularly annoyed that financial aid was requested for a project that makes Bahrain’s water supply dependent on the continuation of oil and gas wells. A climate sin would be a prerequisite for adaptation assistance to climate change through this twisted logic. The fact that the Green Climate Fund indirectly supports the oil production, but was not provided for in the mandate, criticizes Weilscher.
Largely due to Swedish reservations, the motion was cut by the Green Climate Fund’s oversight board to 20 percent, or around $ 2 million. Bahrain, the overseers from Stockholm, could be expected to borrow the money in the international financial market, it was rich enough. A face-saving solution, praises Weilscher, which hopefully repels other oil states.
„Oil-producing states should pay into the fund“
Another application for financial assistance caused some headaches among decision-makers in the UN Climate Fund in October: the People’s Republic of China claimed a $ 100 million loan from the Climate Fund for claiming water, air and land in the over-exploited Shandong region under FP082 getting reasonably clean again. The coastal region has more cars and more energy than any other Chinese province.
The fact that a superpower such as China may benefit from the aid fund for the poorest countries also has to do with the improper categorization in the Framework Convention on Climate Change. Thus, it does not matter that China now has the largest foreign exchange reserves in the world, sends Taikonauten into space, hundreds of new coal-fired power plants in Germany and abroad funded and at the same time thought to buy the most valuable companies in the German high-tech middle class with suitcases full of cash. With the World Climate Fund, the People’s Republic can continue to act as a needy recipient country.
Most of the funds arrive at the right place
After all, the Green Climate Fund is „a solidarity fund for the poorest countries affected by climate change, which we are now filling with 1.5 billion euros,“ said Müller. In future, compliance with the award criteria will be strictly respected, the minister promised. „If that does not happen, I’ll veto.“
The attempts of Bahrain and China to use the pot for the poorest are outliers, which nevertheless show in a flash that climate policy is often a tough power and interest policy. But that should not change the view