Oxfam reaction to European Commission paper on climate finance

Published: 8th April 2011

The European Commission published today a paper on how to raise the $100 billion per year pledged by rich countries at last year’s UN climate talks in Cancun to help poor countries protect themselves from the impacts of climate change and develop in a low carbon way.

Lies Craeynest, Oxfam International’s EU climate change policy advisor, said:

"In Cancun, governments established a new global Climate Fund, but failed to agree where the money would come from to fill it.

“In the climate talks that kicked off again this week in Bangkok, poor and vulnerable countries stressed the need to strike agreement on the sources of long-term climate money by the next climate conference in South Africa in December.

“This paper from the European Commission fires the starting gun in the search for new climate cash. Good ideas, like raising finance from international transport, are to be welcomed. However, the reliance on private finance and carbon markets won't help meet the needs of the poorest in adapting to a changing climate." 

Good news

  • The EC supports mobilizing money from international transport. This is a unique opportunity for shipping and aviation to become less of a source and more of a solution to the climate crisis. The industry could give vulnerable communities a significant helping hand in the fight against climate change by both controlling a major – and rising – source of global greenhouse gas emissions and generating desperately needed cash so they can cope with its devastating effects. Oxfam calls on the EU to drive the debate forward in the UN, International Maritime Organization and the G20 towards a breakthrough deal at the climate conference in Durban.
  • The EC recognizes the need for a fair approach to sharing contributions amongst rich countries, according to responsibility for C02 emissions and capacity to pay. Oxfam welcomes the concrete proposal made. 


  • Loans for adaptation still on the table - The EC places a lot of faith in the multinational development banks, such as the EIB and World Bank, to mobilize new money by blending of grants and loans. Oxfam is clear that there should be no loans for adaptation. The poorest and most vulnerable communities that should be prioritized for adaptation resources can only be reached through grant based public finance.
  • EC is wrong to try to count private sector finance towards the $100 commitment, in place of public money. It is widely estimated trillions of Euros are needed from the private sector for curbing emissions, so counting any part of that towards the $100bn for long term finance is just clever accounting. 
  • No clarity on climate cash being additional to long-standing overseas aid promises after 2013. 
  • Disappointing EC not willing EU to move ahead on a tax on financial transactions unilaterally - which would raise tens of thousands of billions of Euros every year.

Read more

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Contact information

Angela Corbalan on +32 473 56 22 60 or angela.corbalan@oxfaminternational.org