Over 200 civil society organisations today launch a call for a fair climate fund to be established this week in Cancun. As ministers arrive to face the vital politi¬cal challenges around the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol, sufficient political time and energy must be spared to ensure substantive outcomes on issues that really matter to those suffering from climate change’s savage impacts.
As the Civil Society Call makes clear, poor people are losing out twice. They are being hardest hit by a crisis they did least to cause, but the are not being served by climate-related funds that should be helping them.
Most existing funds have benefited just a handful of developing countries, privileging mitigation over adaptation, and offering little scope for the meaningful participation of affected communities, especially women.
There is an urgent need to establish a new fair global climate fund to help developing countries build resilience to the impacts of climate change, protect their forests, and adopt low-carbon development pathways. Public finance is vital to meet these needs, while carbon markets are proving inadequate or inappropriate. To be truly equitable and effective, the new fund must mark a clear shift in the management of global flows of climate finance that delivers for poor people.
Ministers arriving this week must do more than just start a process to establish a new fund – they must take political decisions on the nature of that fund. At a minimum, they must ensure a fund which is established and designed under the UNFCCC, gives equitable representation to developing countries, ensures consideration is given to gender balance in its makeup and civil society and affected communities have a strong voice, guarantees at least 50% of the resources of the fund are channelled to adaptation and allows direct access to funds by develop¬ing countries. And ensures that vulnerable communities, especially women and indigenous communities, participate fully in decisions on uses and monitoring of finance at national level. The establishment of a fair global climate fund is long overdue. Ministers, don’t waste this opportunity to chart mark a new course for global finance governance that puts poor people at its heart.