Subsidies vs. Loans at COP27: Japan defends unusual position on finance

Financing climate change will determine the success or failure of COP27, and there is no doubt that most countries think who should be the majority of the bill.

The US is $32bn (€30.7bn) short of paying the developed world’s $100bn ‘fair share’ pledge to developing countries by 2020, new analysis shows .

Given that the US is responsible for more than half of the historic emissions unleashed by wealthier countries, the US should have given away $39.9 billion (€38 billion). Data from Carbon Brief.

That’s a far cry from $7.6 billion (€7.3 billion) in 2020.

the other side of the spectrum is JapanThe East Asian country contributed $7.9 billion (€7.6 billion) more than its fair share of emissions in the past.In this indicator – followed by France and France Germany – When it comes to developed countries, we are ahead of the pack.

So is Japan doing well with climate finance?

Speaking to Euronews Green, Toru Sugio, Japan’s senior climate change negotiator, believes part of Japan’s success, at least as far as attitudes to climate change are concerned, is in the stability of its leadership.

Biden had to put the US back together, Paris Agreement After Trump’s big setback last year, Japan has been trying to “keep its promises to the greatest extent possible,” he said.

The government has not looked to exactly meet its fair share of funds as comparative data for it has only recently been released.

But when it comes to paying proportionally more than responsible for historic warming, there is a common thread that pulls Japan, France and Germany to the top of the leaderboard.

All three countries provided much of their funding in the form of loans rather than grants, at 86%, 75% and 45% respectively.

Loans come in many shapes and sizes, says Japan

More climate change finance in the form of grants rather than loans is one of the recurring demands from developing countries. More pressing issues arise during COP27.

“Countries in the global South are already facing impossible debt burdens as a result of the pandemic and the global cost of living crisis. It’s going to tighten the shackles of the trap,” says Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now.

“Developed countries have caused the climate crisis. Developed countries should not seek reimbursement for the costs of addressing it in the global South. All climate finance should be unconditional grants.”

However, Toru defended Japan’s record on this front, noting that the “yen loans” offered by Japan were long-term concessions offered on favorable terms, with interest rates set at 0.1 or 0.2 percent. increase. The country doesn’t have to start repaying it until 20 years and he doesn’t have until 30 years later, he says, with a much longer grace period than he receives from commercial lenders.

“It’s like comparing apples and strawberries,” he says of the different types of grants and loans.

Where will Japan’s climate change funds go?

About 14% of Japan’s grant funding goes to climate-vulnerable countries, such as hurricane-hit Caribbean islands, Toru adds.

“For example, if there is a joint infrastructure project to build a subway in India or Egypt, we will finance it,” he explains. This is because ultimately the user can pay. Projects of this kind are eligible for mitigation funding because they are helping the country reduce his CO2 emissions.

But developing countries also desperately and increasingly need more funding for adaptation – as the latest UNEP emissions gap report shows, it is long behind.

Last year, Japan agreed to double its adaptation funding to reach a total of about $14.8 billion (€14.2 billion) by 2025.

Where does Japan stand on loss and damage?

Loss and damage is the third category of funds dedicated to national compensation for climate disasters.This is the litmus paper COP Success for Developing Countries.

This issue was first put on the agenda at COP27. And while campaigners’ hopes are fading as the summit enters its second week, expectations remain “very high” for some delegations, the senior negotiator said.

“I can understand the frustration in developing countries,” says Toru. “There are so many typhoons that come to Japan every year,” he explains, making the country a good place to empathize geographically.

However, this is also a problem.

“It cannot be argued that only developing countries are suffering from climate change,” he adds.

Given Japan’s relative wealth, the delegation took a more cautious approach, finance institution.

“First, we need to understand where the gap is,” says Toru, who is the foreign minister in his home country. Japan has already provided substantial humanitarian assistance, he claims, and shares that expertise through the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, which was launched in 2015.

“A human life would be saved with this kind of thing. [aid] Systems, in the event of a natural disaster … But there are gaps there, buildings, power plants, etc. ”

Is Global Shield the Solution?

To fill this gap, Japan “Global Shield” – Catastrophe risk insurance scheme first proposed by Germany and now adopted by the G7 and V20 (the bloc of countries most threatened by climate change).

It is filled with different reactions. Civil society groups have hailed the Global Shield as a sign that richer countries recognize the need to act, but they also warn that it cannot distract from the primary need for protection. Did. new damages fund.

“An overly focused focus on new mechanisms that do not cover slow-onset phenomena such as sea-level rise or loss of language and culture fails to meet the needs of communities on the ground,” said Climate Action Network (CAN) International.

Where will the current stalemate over loss and damage lead countries?

Japan’s history also makes it receptive to developing countries’ calls for climate change finance, Toru suggests.

In 1961, Japan received a loan from the World Bank to help build the famous Shinkansen bullet train linking World War II-reconstructed Tokyo and Osaka.

“We know how difficult it is to rebuild a country,” he says. And despite its close ties with Asia, the minister said Japan is keen to provide funding where it is needed most. Africa and the caribbean.

However, GDP is the third highest in the world, USA and ChinaJapan is far better able to protect itself from intensifying climate change, and this is reflected in its attitude to loss and damage negotiations.

Turro said Japan and other developed nations want to discuss the details now and figure out the need for new facilities later, but people in the global South want to set up facilities first. There is

“If you can’t find a suitable solution [within existing climate finance structure] Then you have to find a new one. It’s a phased approach,” he says Turo.

“COP is an annual process, so we have to undo it, but it’s not healthy,” he admitted.

This restrained stance is in line with that of New Zealand. In a statement Saturday night, the country said, “To establish a fund without any certainty about what that means is a high level of understanding that we have a common understanding of what we are working on and how. ‘s confidence will be needed,” he said.

“Hearing the intervention, it doesn’t look like we have this.”

New Zealand previously said the damages fund was urgent, adding that it had pledged funding last week.

“But we also think we need to get this right.”

Taking your time and getting it right might seem like a luxury on the flooded coast of Tuvalu. Changing schedules for financing loss and damage is another way countries are being divided by the demands of climate justice.

new zealand Yesterday, I won CAN’s “Fossil of the Day” award.

Japan was the first recipient, “the world’s largest public funder of oil, gas, and coal projects.” The network claims to have contributed an average of $10.6 billion (€10.2 billion) annually from 2019 to 2021.

“No country’s finances are as flowing as Japan’s, but they are going in the complete wrong direction,” CAN says.

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