The environment does not close the accounts. A report presented by the Environment and Natural Resources Foundation (FARN) on the budget allocated to the climate fight in Argentina for 2021 indicates that for every $ 1 that is budgeted for environmental issues, $ 15 is invested in aspects that generate its degradation.
“Transfers for environmental care have been relegated to the need for the generation of foreign exchange by the national government,” FARN states in the report, adding that “many of the budget items are contradictory with the commitments assumed in international environmental matters, such as the Paris Agreement, or issues associated with the Convention on Biological Diversity”, Two of the most important international frameworks in environmental and climate matters to which Argentina adheres.
The items favorable to the environment —for a total of $ 44,229 million— represent 0.5% of the budgeted expenses for 2021, while the opposite amounts reach 8.2%, with $ 682,717 million destined.
Always according to FARN, the items dedicated to activities and actions favorable to the care of the planet are:
-The linked to transport, especially the Roca railway: $ 7120 million.
-Games associated with renewable energies, for example those destined to the Renewable Energy Project in Rural Markets (PERMER): $ 2,127 million.
–Works dedicated to adaptation to the impacts of climate change: $ 5892 million.
-Funds dedicated to ecosystem protection, such as caring for forests and protected areas: $ 1752 million.
-Games destined for the fire management: $ 282 million.
Of that money, almost half of the funds come from abroad, especially from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Green Climate Fund (GEF) through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), indicated one of the authors of the report, researcher María Di Paola at Carbono News. “It seems to emphasize that not only is there little money dedicated to the conservation of the environment but it is also very dependent on external aid,” he said.
Those that are contrary to the environment are:
–Associated with dirty energies (fossil fuels, nuclear energy and large hydroelectric plants): $ 575,586 million.
–Incentives to promote car transport: $ 104,061 million.
–Items associated with mining: $ 355 million.
The Argentine Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, consulted by Carbon News, evaluated your budget as “satisfactory” and wielded as something positive that this year “the Budget of the Ministry of Environment it is more than double that of last year. I know went from $ 3 billion in 2020 to almost $ 6.5 billion.
At that $ 6.5 billion, estimate to add an extra $ 2 billion, derived from the creation of the National Fire Management Fund, “So we estimate that during 2021 we will triple the funds applied by the Ministry,” they explained from the portfolio.
Nicole Becker, a member of Youth for Climate, said that, despite the fact that the environment is increasingly on the agenda, it is still an issue that is not a priority for governments. “The environment is still not a State policy, there is a lot of word but little action, the only way to get out of the COVID-19 crisis is with a green recovery, not to continue insisting on the same production and consumption model that we also brought the pandemic “.
For María Di Paola there is a real battle between the climate crisis and the economic crisis. “What happens is that the economic crisis leads to replicate models of crisis exit that later bring us to the current health crisis. It is a vicious circle that ends up feeding back because they are the same policies ”.
According to FARN, the efforts at the heart of the annual economic policy are not placed on caring for the environment, but rather on supporting the same model. “The currencies will depend clearly on the energy and agricultural sectors, which are the two activities that emit the most greenhouse gases in our country”, Marked the researcher.
What is and what is not
In relation to the preservation of forests, FARN denounces that the National Fund for the Enrichment and Conservation of Native Forests —The main mechanism for their protection— will not have in 2021 all of the funds established by the law itself. That is, instead of 0.3% of the national budget, it will only receive 0.015%.
For its part, The Ministry of the Environment assured that in 2020 funds were transferred to the provinces for $ 811 million to preserve native forests, 207% more than that transferred in 2019.
The Ministry also said that this year it will begin to invest in the forestry sector thanks to a donation from the Green Climate Fund —The UN Green Climate Fund granted the country a payment of US $ 82 million in recognition of the deforestation avoided between 2014 and 2016, which in turn avoided the emission of 165,000,000 tons of Greenhouse Gases.
Regarding the measures for the management of fires, the assessment is ambiguous. According to the report, the amount provided for the National Fire Management Service does not cover the accumulated inflation of the last two years, and represents only 0.003% of the national budget for 2021.
On the other hand, FARN highlights as good news the creation of the National Fire Management Fund, which emerged in 2012, but its launch was postponed.
“During the previous administration, environmental issues did not have the corresponding significance and competencies such as the Fire Management Service were taken away from it,” they launched from the Ministry.
fight against climate change
The items destined to fight against climate change are linked above all to projects to face events such as droughts or water excesses, and to monitor greenhouse effect emissions, says the report.
Energy is perhaps the most worrying issue. 97% of what is destined to the energy sector goes to dirty energy, while only 1% will be for clean energy and the rest corresponds to items labeled by FARN as “uncertain”. On this point, the Ministry led by Juan Cabandié preferred not to comment, since it falls to another portfolio.
Some keys to the report
-The subsidies to the supply of fossil fuels represent ten times the budget of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development and four times the expenses budgeted by the Ministry of Health in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
–3.6% of Argentina’s total emissions during 2021 will come from activities based on subsidized fossil fuels. In other words, pollution financed by the State itself.
–For every $ 1 invested in renewable energy and efficiency, $ 184 is invested in generation with dirty energy, triple since the last FARN analysis.
-For every $ 1 allocated to transport that generates lower GHG emissions, around $ 5 is invested in more polluting means of transport.
-In the mining sector, there are budgetary items for $ 355 million contrary to the care of the environment, without identifying any intended for its care.