Heard in Europe

On Thursday, Paris announced it was the first city to donate to the Green Fund. Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of city, proudly hailed her contribution: €1 million by 2020.

“Tackling climate change not only involves putting in place ambitious policies at the heart of our territories, but also providing funds to the most vulnerable of them so that they can protect their populations”, she said.

“By 2020, we will have allocated €1 million in funding to implement tangible projects in developing countries of the Global South”, she added.

The Green Fund allocates resources to low-emission and climate-resilient projects and programmes in developing countries, especially the least developed countries (LDCs), small island developing states (SIDS) and African states.

The press release of the municipality mentions several times that “Paris will be the first city in the world to contribute to the Green Fund”.

A very commendable initiative… But Paris is not the first city to contribute.

In an agreement dated December 2014, Brussels already pledged a donation. Not only is Brussels a year ahead, its contribution is also proportionally more generous.

Where the wealthy French capital, home to more than 2 million flâneurs, promised €1 million by 2020, 1 million Bruxellois will contribute €800,000.

Belgium’s main communities – the Flemish and Walloons – might be having trouble reaching a common position on their contribution to the UN Climate conference. But its capital city has already started financing climate adaptation.

France, and Paris in particular, might well consider itself the home of trendsetters and everything fashionable, but it’s been caught napping on this particular occasion.

Photo courtesy of Oriol Salvadore and Flickr. Published under a Creative Commons licence.

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