German climate finance

What does the 2013 federal budget provide in funding for climate change measures?

As the summer break has come to a close, debate on the 2013 federal budget is beginning in the Bundestag. The government draft has been available for some time already and the question is now being raised about how things look regarding funding for international climate-change measures for 2013, that is, financial support for poor countries for climate protection and adaptation to climate changes.

According to the draft, a total of just over €1.9 billion will be available in 2013 for bilateral funding commitments for climate-related measures and for payments into multilateral climate funds. Roughly €1.33 billion will be spent from the budget of the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (section 23), about €110 million from the budget of the Federal Environment Ministry (section 16), and almost €500 million in the Energy and Climate Fund. As rough as the plans are at the moment, it can be estimated that about €650 million of these funds could be made available in 2013 for measures dealing with (greenhouse gas) emissions reduction. For the area of forest conservation/REDD+ there will be around €540 million, and the means approved for adaptations as a consequence of climate change could amount to more than €720 million.

This would mean that the area of adaptations will for the first time receive more funding than the emissions reduction area. This is a positive development, because up to now regarding even German aid, securing sustainable livelihoods in poor countries for people impacted by climate change has always clearly been underfinanced.

Brief assessment of climate funding in the 2013 German Federal Budget

In summary, the government draft must be given a mixed appraisal with respect to climate-change–related funding. It is positive that funds for climate-related measures were able to increase slightly in 2013, even though the rise is not extensive enough and funds to be made available in the area of adaptation continue to be insufficient. A considerable problem regarding funding for climate-related measures remains that funds are not made available in addition to those provided toward satisfying the goal of spending 0.7% of the GNP for development. This creates a competition with “traditional” development cooperation (despite the worthwhile synergistic effects in implementing the measures), especially since the federal government is not presently planning to increase development funding to an appropriate level in the future.

Preparations for Germany’s commitment to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) are a very positive sign, but the level of commitment needs to be higher (or it should apply for a shorter period of time) than what is planned. It is disappointing that the federal government has not planned to make any new payments into the adaptation fund of the Kyoto protocol, although this fund is now working successfully. We welcome the further commitments and the resulting payments in 2013 into the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF).