China and India are set to receive a £1.5 billion climate aid windfall despite scuppering a COP26 deal on reducing reliance on coal power.
The Glasgow conference in Glasgow earlier this month saw richer countries agree to double the funding available to developing countries for their preparations for global climate change.
Despite having two of the fastest growing economies in the world, the UN designates China and India as ‘developing states’.
Analysis shows that the two countries received a total of about £700 million from developed countries in 2019, the latest figures available, as well as millions more from investment foundations and private donors.
China and India are set to receive a £1.5 billion climate aid windfall despite scuppering a COP26 deal on reducing reliance on coal power
But the pledge made in Glasgow could see their ‘adaptation’ funding allowances rocket as high as £1.5 billion – with the British taxpayer footing as much as £38 million of the bill.
Despite the fact that India and China will receive the bonus, the COP26 pledge was not reaffirmed. Instead of promising to ‘phase out’ the use of coal, the conference agreed only to ‘phase down’ its use.
Alok Sharma, COP26 President was left frustrated and in tears by the dilution.
Critics suggested that the system needed reform. John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘The net zero target must not see working taxpayers landed with the bill. Families are facing financial strain due to the most tax increases in more than 70 years. They cannot expect to be able to afford these green grants for wealthy countries.
‘Ministers should address the effectiveness of eco-aid like this and protect Brits from paying out for more squandered spending.’
China produces more greenhouse gasses than all the developed countries combined. India is the country with the highest levels of greenhouse gases, according to international air quality indicators.
Yet analysis of latest adaptation climate funding contributions reveal that they accepted a total of about £2.3 billion from climate funds in 2019.
Of that, China pocketed £749 million, including grants and loans from nation states and private donors including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation.
China’s Xi Jinping, (left), refused to attend Cop 26. India’s Narendra Modi made a speech days prior to his representatives helped water down efforts to end coal use.
Developed countries contributed £278 million, of which almost £8 million was from Britain, and was used to improve crop production and develop a new power sector for Fujian, a province in the south-east of China. According to statistics published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, India was handed £1.6 billion in funding from across the world, including foundations, private donors, states and investment groups in 2019.
Around £409 million of that came from member states, including £12.6 million from the UK. It was spent on the ‘promotion of women in energy’ in India, the state’s solar power network and early warning weather systems.
Under the new funding arrangements, China could next year receive up to £14 million from the UK and India £24 million.
The corruption issue is also of concern to critics. The Chr. Michelsen Institute in Norway found the ten countries that receive the most climate finance, including China and India, were at a ‘higher risk for corrupt practices’.