Some countries outlined their climate finance plans up until 2020, and the OECD released a study showing that the scale of finance flows agreed in Copenhagen (USD 100bn per year into developing countries by 2020) was close to being realised. Developed countries mobilised USD 64bn from mid-year 2014 to mid-year 2015, not far off the mark.
It is true that USD 100bn of climate finance flows will not be enough to address the vast mitigation needs of developing countries. Mobilising private capital will also need to play a huge role in realising the trillions required. But demonstrating that pledges are honored, and promises kept, is crucial to building the trust required for negotiators to be able to compromise.
Meanwhile, India commissioned a study – using a different methodology – that arrived at a figure for climate finance flows that is dramatically lower than what the OECD has calculated – in part because there is no agreed UN methodology that defines which climate investment flows count as “climate finance" under the convention. This difference proved a key issue in the negotiations, and some developing countries are now concerned that they might not get what they were promised.
The climate finance discussion is torturous and far removed from what is required to address the climate challenge and mobilise private capital for developing countries. But it remains a crucial obstacle to successful climate collaborations.
We are not spending enough
In 2014, the world invested USD 391bn in low-carbon and climate-resilient infrastructure. But we should actually be spending USD 7tn dollars a year for the next decade and even more later.
The International Energy Agency estimated in a recent report that the world needs to spend USD 359tn between now and 2050 to avoid catastrophic climate change