As the end of the Fast Start Finance period approaches, ECO lies awake at night thinking about what happens next. There is nothing on the table for 2013 and beyond, and a huge mid-term finance gap is looming. ECO is as worried as developing countries that developed countries have little interest in discussing a scaling-up roadmap of climate finance towards 2020, with clear milestones, and ensuring that the Green Climate Fund doesn’t remain an empty shell.
Adaptation and mitigation needs have only grown larger since they were last assessed, and ECO believes that a finance gap is the last thing the climate, and these negotiations, needs. ECO worries that climate finance will be lower in 2013 than in the three years since Copenhagen.
ECO wonders if negotiations, including those on increasing mitigation ambition, will progress at all without a clear signal that developed countries will be living up to their commitment to provide new and additional climate finance, and start making progress towards meeting the US$100 billion per year by 2020. Yes, some developed countries have made reassurances that climate finance will not fall of a cliff after 2012, but in ECO’s view, general reassurances are one thing; individual commitments, though, are quite another.
So ECO strongly suggests that developed countries show that they mean business, and clarify what they intend climate finance to look like in the beginning of 2013 and over the years to 2020. As a clear down payment on trust, which has been our missing friend here in the Maritim, ECO believes developed countries should make a political commitment in Doha to initially pledge at least $10-15 billion to be disbursed to the Green Climate Fund over the years 2013-2015 as part of a broader climate finance commitment.
The Green Climate Fund has some work ahead, and we urge all parties to get on with the institutional arrangements without delay. That should not stop parties from making their political commitments in Doha. Hesitating countries might be interested to know that, in fact, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria received pledges well before it was ready to receive funds.
Such a pledge would send a strong and positive signal and help fight the perceptions of the last two weeks that the means of implementation may not be forthcoming. Pledges in Doha could be complemented by future revenues from new alternative sources, such as from a fair bunkers mechanism or a financial transaction tax. Of course, initial pledges in Doha would be the first step on a longer pathway to scale-up the annual turnover of the Green Climate Fund by 2020, where the majority of the $100 billion commitment is channelled through the GCF itself.
ECO believes that all this is firmly within the remit of possibilities of developed countries, as the memories of the bank bailouts with hundreds of billions (or was it trillions) of dollars are still fresh on our mind. We suggest that when negotiators have arrived back home, they make urgent phone calls to their finance ministers to get them started on preparing for the Doha pledges. Civil society, to be sure, will be ringing them.