Is EU Recycling Climate Aid Pledges?

A man draws water from a large well near the village of Hamed Ella in northeastern Ethiopia. A euro400,000 grant from the Czech Republic supported a project to rehabilitate wells, increase water supply and prevent erosion in Ethiopia. Photo by: Siegfried Modola / IRIN

Some aid groups warn that the European Union may simply be renaming existing aid pledges earmarked for the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals to fulfill its Copenhagen climate aid commitment of euro2.2 billion (USD3 billion).

“Europe has a chance to rebuild trust with poor countries at Cancun, but the draft EU report on short-term climate finance suggests they are attempting a cover-up,” said Elise Ford, head of Oxfam’s EU policy office in Brussels.

A draft European Union report seen by Reuters says: “The EU member states and the European Commission have confirmed 2.2 billion euros of fast-start finance in 2010, thereby remaining on track to meet its overall commitment of 7.2 billion across the 2010-12 fast start period.”

The draft report says that four of the bloc’s 27 member states have not yet fulfilled their climate pledges.

EU projects include a German grant worth euro300,000 aimed at establishing a flood warning system in Mozambique, and a euro400,000 grant from the Czech Republic to rehabilitate wells, increase water supply and prevent erosion in Ethiopia. Another project is funded by a euro900,000 German grant to help recycle refrigerators in Brazil.

“Poor countries deserve to know whether EU cash for climate action is really new and fresh or whether it is just being repackaged from past aid promises,” Ford said.

About the author

  • Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.