Countries that pledged at COP26 to stop funding international fossil fuel extraction are on track to miss their targets due to the search for alternatives to Russian gas because of the war in Ukraine, according to a report by the International Institute for Sustainable Development ( IISD).
The study, in which Tearfund and Oil Change International (OCI) have also collaborated, recalls that 34 countries and 5 public financial institutions signed a commitment at COP26 in Glasgow (United Kingdom) to put an end to international public financing of fossil fuels by the end of 2022.
However, the report notes that “most countries and institutions have yet to publish their Glasgow-aligned policies”, while credit agencies are “far behind”.RELATED
One of the “biggest threats” to the success of the Glasgow commitments is “the temptation for countries to continue investing in gas abroad as a result of the war in Ukraine” as countries seek to replace Russian fuel.
The report’s authors highlight that these investments are “incompatible” with the global warming limit of 1.5 degrees agreed in Paris, and show that clean alternatives are “more suitable to serve energy security”.
In fact, Canada (11,000 million dollars per year), the United States (3,100), Italy (2,800), Germany (2,800) and Spain (2,400) were the ones that contributed the most public financing to oil and gas between 2018 and 2020, even though they all signed in Glasgow.
In the same period, only seven of the agreement’s signatories – Denmark, Sweden, France, Germany, New Zealand, Slovenia, Belgium, and the European Investment Bank (EIB) – financed more clean energy than fossil fuels, while another seven -again Belgium, in addition to Finland, New Zealand, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland- financed according to this document less than 100 million dollars in clean energy per year.
In addition, the report shows that if countries “keep their promises” they could accelerate a green energy revolution in low-income countries, for which it will be necessary to mobilize “a joint investment of 28,000 million dollars per year” of international public financing for energy. renewable.
The study indicates that these investments “can play an important role in avoiding the blockage of fossil fuels and accelerating a clean and fair energy transition in less developed countries”
The co-director of Global Public Finance at OCI, Laurie van der Burg, has pointed out that “although the Glasgow agreement has great transformative potential, there are signs of backsliding among the signatory countries”, such as Germany, “which is actively seeking new investments in abroad to replace the Russian supply.”
For Van der Burg, gas investments “are not necessary to guarantee energy security” because “renewables and energy efficiency make it possible to cover development needs and offer better access to energy.”
For her part, IISD’s Senior Policy Advisor stressed that “the current energy crisis only intensifies the need to move towards safer and more sustainable systems based on renewable energy and energy efficiency.”
“The COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh (Egypt) will be an accountability test for the Glasgow signatories, since they will have to present new international public finance plans” to consolidate the 1.5 degree warming limit agreed in Paris.
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