Tag: funds

Loss and Damaged

ECO applauds that the negotiations on loss and damage have managed to agree on draft conclusions here in Bonn. Despite the lack of movement in issues such as finance and emissions reductions, negotiators have achieved some better understanding on the issue of loss and damage. The conclusions recognise the role of slow-onset impacts like sea-level rise and ocean acidification, and non-economic losses, but also the importance of involving local communities in risk assessment processes.

A crucial achievement in Bonn has been the reaffirmation of the mandate that was given by the Durban decision, namely to explore a range of approaches and potential mechanisms, including an international mechanism, to address loss and damage.

Negotiators will need to continue working hard to figure out the functions and elements of such an international mechanism. Possible elements could include coordination, information assessment, climate risk insurance, rehabilitation and compensatory elements. The Doha outcome must recognize that climate change is not only a technical and political issue but also one of global climate justice. The outcome must further ensure that the international community starts to build up an adequate response to the multiple problems of loss and damage from climate change impacts.

In the next months, expert meetings will be held in all developing country regions. ECO thinks it is crucial that the process follows a needs-based approach. Key questions include: What is the scale of likely impacts and what are the main problems of loss and damage? What are major needs in the regions that have to be addressed? Where are local solutions sufficient and where can international mechanisms fill existing gaps? And what scale of response is required?

All Parties should work to improve their understanding of the problems and develop solutions. Submissions on the need and scale of the problem would help advance the issue. These can then provide a sound options-based approach for the negotiators coming to Doha. Recognising that much of the loss and damage debate has many questions is no reason not to move forward on developing options and solutions for international and local collaboration to tackle the challenge.

ECO can does not deny its frustration over the fact that many Parties are failing to deliver ambitious mitigation, even though they have agreed to limit warming below 2 degrees Celsius and are aware of the most recent science. They are thus positioning the planet on a course towards a world of increasing climate change loss and damage rather than a transition to a truly low-carbon and climate change-resilient world. Mitigation and adaptation are key to minimise loss and damage. But they are no longer sufficient.

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Fill the Fund!

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.

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A Fund to Inspire the World

There are nine days left before the members of the Transitional Committee (TC) tasked with the design of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) will gather in Cape Town, South Africa for their fourth and final meeting before the COP in Durban.

It is clear that discussions are in a critical phase. The outcome of the TC meeting will likely determine whether the GCF will become a major driver for change that allows developing countries to shift towards a sustainable, low-carbon and climate-resilient development pathway, or alternatively become just another business-as-usual instrument. Will the Fund initiate a shift in the global financial architecture towards increased ownership for those who face the harsh reality of climate change impacts and wish to harness the benefits from low-carbon development? Or will it be another body with difficult access procedures for developing countries and thus lag behind the urgency of response that is needed? Success is possible in Cape Town, but there is also a real risk of failure.

ECO would like to encourage all TC members to do their utmost to conclude a strong and ambitious GCF which gives the developing world the bold means necessary to address climate change. Concluding their task will not be the endpoint for the design of the Fund, but rather a starting point which will hopefully provide the framework from which the key pillar in the international fight against climate change will emerge. Thus, ECO urges the TC members to focus on finding common ground, seeking compromise and show that the GCF is a joint response by the global community to the urgent problem which we are facing with our backs against the wall. It will not be perfect from its inception, but has to be a solid foundation on which to build.

Importantly, the TC must ensure that the Fund is credible from its inception, and ECO would like to urge the TC members to ensure that the outcome of their discussions is one which civil society can continue to defend. We seek assurance that civil society will be given at least the same attention as the private sector in the procedures of the GCF – for example, through active observer seats on the board and strong in-country participation.

The GCF will be a key channel for adaptation finance, and many civil society organizations have long experience in addressing the needs of peoples most affected by climate change. We seek assurance that a balanced allocation between adaptation and mitigation will be achieved to correct the major global over allocation towards mitigation that exists. We seek assurance that the GCF will enable direct access to funds for developing countries, notwithstanding the fact that reliable fiduciary standards are an important part of direct access design.

We seek assurance that environmental, social and gender safeguards are consistently and effectively applied with a view to reducing the risk that GCF resources are harming the people they are intended to help. Finally, we seek assurance that the GCF will be a key driver of low-carbon, climate-resilient and gender-equitable development pathways thus providing developing countries the help they have long been promised to alleviate poverty and achieve their development goals. There is still a chance to come up with a great result in Cape Town, the world will be watching.

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Oxfam: UN report shows climate funds can be raised without costing the taxpayer

A new report from the UN’s High-level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing (AGF) shows that raising the public money to help poor countries protect themselves from climate change is possible without costing the taxpayer, Oxfam told the UK government today.

“This report clearly shows that money to tackle climate change and help poor communities adapt can be raised without dipping into taxpayers’ pockets. The next step is for political leaders to lay out a clear roadmap for making this funding a reality.” said Tracy Carty, Oxfam Climate Change Policy Advisor.

The AGF was established by the UN Secretary General in February 2010 to advise on how developed countries could deliver on their promise to raise $100bn per year to help poor countries adapt to a changing climate and reduce emissions.

The sources of money identified in the report must now be championed by Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, and other members of the AGF group.

“Clear backing from the UK Government will be essential for fair levies on uncapped emissions in international shipping and aviation and a Robin Hood Tax on banks with money earmarked for climate change. But in order to do so the UK must urgently clarify its position on these crucial sources of public finance identified in the AGF report.” said Carty.

Countries meeting at the UN climate change talks in Cancun later this month must now establish a global climate fund to manage this money and agree a process for deciding how they will finance it by the next climate summit in South Africa in 2011. By using these innovative sources, governments can raise enough money from public sources without siphoning from existing development aid money. As some members of the UN panel recognized, private finance cannot meet the needs of developing countries for adaptation.

Carty said: “The $100bn committed to in the Copenhagen Accord must come from public sources of funding rather than private to ensure it reaches communities desperately in need of money to help them adapt to climate change and develop in a low carbon way.”

Oxfam warned that the report’s inclusion of the World Bank as a potential finance source should not be used to undermine international negotiations on the establishment of a new, independent global climate fund that is fair and accessible. For the fund to be effective poor countries must have a say in decisions on how the money is managed and at least half of the funding should address climate change impacts on the most vulnerable.

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