Adapting to climate change: What’s needed in poor countries, and who should pay.
By now you've seen the headlines:
Bloomberg "Poor Need $50 Billion a Year to Adapt to Climate, Oxfam Says";
Metro (UK) "Rich should pay £25bn to stop global warming";
Times of India "Coping with warming will cost $50 billion, G-8 must pay share";
Mongabay "U.S. responsible for 44% of global warming bill-Oxfam";
Peoples Daily "Oxfam calls on rich countries to reduce impact of climate change"
China Daily "Rich must pay bulk of climate change bill - Oxfam"
That fifty billion dollar per year figure isn't the half of it. Or more accurately it is half. On page 22 the report states:
"Indeed, others predict that annual adaptation costs could be at least double this. According to Kermal Dervis, head of UNDP, donors will need to provide 50 to 100 per cent more finance over and above current aid – equivalent to $50–100bn annually – to cover the impacts of climate change. Likewise, Christian Aid estimates that tackling adaptation will require a global fund of $100bn each year."
I believe these are the sources for the $100 billion figure. UNDP, Christian Aid. This isn't the "or more" referred to in the press release, $100 billion is the number two of Oxfam's allies truly believe will be necessary.
The next paragraph on page 22 asks where the money will come from:
"Is this scale of funding – many tens of billions of dollars a year – impossible? Not at all. Staging the 2004 Olympics in Athens cost $9–12bn and the budget for the 2012 Olympics in the UK is already $18bn."
What event is not included in the above example? Here's a hint: it is expected to cost $20 to 40 billion dollars. In the post below I said there was something for the arts community in this report, I think they did some pretty fancy tap-dancing around the 800-pound dragon in the room.
Part 3 of the report is headlined "3 No aid diversion: new finance needed"
This is one of at least a dozen places in the report where the authors state and restate that the $50 ($100) billion is in addition to the 0.7% Official Development Aid requirement of the U.N.'s "Agenda 21" and "Monterrey Consensus".
Here I fail you. I don't believe the U.S. signed on to the 0.7% but I don't recall for sure. If we had I'm sure it would have been in the Times or the Journal.
I spent waaay too much time at the BLS and BEA yesterday but it pays off for you, gentle reader. 2006 U.S. GDP was $13.25 trillion, with just shy of a 13.5 run-rate. Here's table 3.
For the exponentially challenged, call it $93 billion for ODA. Plus Oxfam's 44% of $50 bil. (it really will be closer to $100), and the $450 bil. from the Stern Review (remember the Stern Review? It was in all the papers.) for mitigation; here I'm not sure if we should multiply by Oxfam's 44% or the U.S.'s 25% share of CO2 emissions, we're starting to get to the real number and we should be able to keep it all under a third-of-a-trillion dollars per year for the U.S. contribution (before adding in direct costs like putting vodka in your tank but that's okay, the Stern number of 1% of World Gross Product should be 2% minimum so we've got incorrect estimates piling on incorrect estimates anyway).
I'll wrap up in part three. Don't go anywhere, we've still got Jacques Chirac, Maurice Strong, Tony Soprano and more coming right up.
Here's Oxfam's briefing paper