Tag: Finance

“It always seems impossible, until it is done!"

Manjeet Dhakal
Clean Energy Nepal
Program Director
Nepal

Photos: Civil Society meeting (top), UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres, showing off the CAN COP17 lanyard (bottom).

Civil society lanyards proudly touting this quote by Nelson Mandela was a good choice by CAN and the perfect fit for Durban.  Its timeliness resonates with many a delegate at the climate negotiations here at COP17.  Indeed the promise of optimism and hope it gives must surely permeate the negotiations and secure for our planet what Mandela proved is possible despite the trials and tribulations on the path to achievement.  Even though we despair at the slow pace of the negotiations, we will continue to persevere in the spirit of this silent reminder until the seemingly impossible is accomplished.
 
This week, more than 25,000 delegates from over 190 countries are gathered here in the beautiful city of Durban, South Africa to progress talks on finalizing the climate deal and to take us closer to a fair, ambitious, and binding global deal. With the letdown of COP15 in Copenhagen, no one expected Cancun to score a redeeming package to ensure continuity in the process. But we know that Cancun was just the next step of a process, which needs to be finalized by this meeting.  Against this backdrop, Durban will be dominated by three major issues: the Kyoto commitments, financial matters, and the legal mandate for ongoing discussions. More than ever, we need a lot of optimism to move ahead and to make good progress.  

Now, it is the time to take a bold step on the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol that was adopted in 1997 with the aim of stabilizing green house gas emission in the atmosphere and holding developed countries accountable with binding targets. The first commitment period (2009 – 2012) ends this year, therefore, a decision must come out of this meeting. Major parties to the KP, including Japan, Russia, and Canada, have already signaled that they will not take on a second commitment because China and the United States—the world’s top two polluters that are not included in it. The European Union (EU) is prepared to sign up for a second round, but it insists that major developing countries, whose emissions are surging as their economies grow, must embrace and follow through on real commitments. Least developed Countries (LDCs), which includes Nepal, are strongly arguing for the KP to be strengthened and to raise the commitments of developed countries.  

The Durban COP will also be judged on whether the wealthy nations of the world will make good on their financial commitments to developing countries adaptation to climate change.  It was decided in Cancun to set up an umbrella Green Climate Fund (GCF) with thematic windows to address the varying needs of countries to deal with climate change. A Transitional Committee (TC) that was established to design the fund has come up with its report, but the situation does not seem to favor the hard work of the committee.

Since Bali (Indonesia, 2007), the climate discourse has shaped the two track approaches, which are the KP track and the Bali mandate track.  The Bali Road-map provides the building blocks of Adaptation, Mitigation, Finance, and Technology Development ,which are briefly covered in the Cancun Agreements.  But there are many other leftover issues mandated to be finalized by the Durban COP.  Some have linkages to the issues being discussed in the KP. There is a stronger voice all around to continue the KP even though it seems quite difficult to continue with two parallel processes forever.  The EU’s preference is to negotiate “a single global and comprehensive legally binding instrument,” including all emitters; although it would accept an “interim” solution whereby major emerging countries would accept a “road map” and timetable for treaty commitments.

Durban will also be judged by the decisions on Adaptation Framework and Technology mechanism i.e. Climate Technology Center (CTC) and diverse views on National Adaptation plan (NAP).
Let me finish with another quote from Nelson Mandela that I hope will encourage us all to be optimistic while moving forward.  He said,  “There were many dark moments when faith in humanity was sorely tested, but we should not and could not give up to despair.”  On the wisdom of these words, we must secure a mandate for working towards a strong legally binding agreement and for the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol – the only international agreement to cut emissions – if we are to avoid an unfolding disaster.
 

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Media Advisory – Webcast Notice: civil society expectations for a successful outcome of UN climate talks in Durban.

UNFCCC CLIMATE TALKS IN DURBAN:

CIVIL SOCIETY EXECUTIVES SET EXPECTATIONS FOR SECOND WEEK OF NEGOTIATIONS

[Durban, South Africa] Climate Action Network – International will host an exclusive media briefing, webcast live, to outline civil society expectations for a successful outcome of UN climate talks in Durban.

A panel of civil society executives will discuss the overall status of the negotiations and outline possible scenarios for a Durban outcome, highlighting how much is at stake at these talks and what Ministers arriving in Durban need to do in the second week in order to secure a successful conference.

The briefing takes place at the UNFCCC conference venue, on Monday, December 5, at 12:30 local time (10:30 GMT), Kosi Palm (ICC MR 21 ABCG), NGO Press Conference Room.

It will be webcast live at: http://bit.ly/CANwebcasts

Civil society leaders on the panel will include: Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director, Greenpeace International; Jim Leape, Director General, WWF International; Celine Charveriat, Director of Advocacy & Campaigns, Oxfam International; Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Unions

What: Briefing on the UNFCCC climate negotiations in Durban

Where: Kosi Palm (ICC MR 21 ABCG) NGO Press Conference Room, UNFCCC conference venue, Durban

Webcast Live via www.unfccc.int, or at: http://bit.ly/CANwebcasts

When: 12:30 local time (10:30 GMT), Monday, December 5, 2011

Who: Kumi Naidoo – Executive Director, Greenpeace International
Jim Leape – Director General, WWF International
Celine Charveriat – Director of Advocacy & Campaigns, Oxfam International
Sharan Burrow – General Secretary, International Trade Unions

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 700 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. For more information go to: www.climatenetwork.org

For more information please contact:

David Turnbull, CAN International, +27 (0) 78 889 6827 (local mob)

Every day at 18:00 local time CAN gives the Fossil of the Day to the Parties that obstruct the negotiations the most. You can watch the Fossil ceremony at the CAN booth in the DEC building and get the press releases every day at: http://www.climatenetwork.org/fossil-of-the-day

Guide to De-Bracketing MRV

ECO is here to help negotiators remove some brackets from that new MRV text that is hot off the press, and insert a few critical items that Parties have somehow forgotten.

So pick up your erasers (or warm up your Delete keys) and let’s get to work!

Stakeholder participation – Observer participation is still bracketed in the ICA and largely absent or conditioned in the IAR. Inexcusable! Stakeholders, including NGOs, businesses and municipalities, have a right to participate and contribute important scientific and technical information to the negotiations.

Accounting and compliance – These two words seem to be toxic to some developed country parties, like the USA and Canada, but including them in international assessment and review (IAR) is fundamental. The IAR must review the accounting of emission reductions and lead to future compliance mechanisms under the Convention. You can see where things go otherwise; the lack of good accounting and compliance played a big role in the financial crisis.

Adjustments – A tonne is a tonne is a tonne. Not only do we need common accounting rules, in the IAR technical review, the review teams need to be able to adjust data when the rules aren’t followed. Brackets around adjustments – off!

MRV and the Review – Biennial reports, biennial update reports, and the IAR and international consultation and analysis (ICA) processes are key to providing an accurate picture of global emissions for the 2013 Review. This link is reflected in the IAR preamble but inexplicably has been deleted from the ICA preamble. This link and an appropriate timeline should be agreed. Developed country reports should be in by 1 January 2013 and developing country reports on 1 January 2014; and the IAR and ICA should start in May 2013 and May 2014, respectively. This timeline is crucial for providing effective input in the review process.

Developed country Biennial reports – It is troubling to see that the information on LULUCF and market mechanisms for developed country targets is bracketed. Remove the darn []’s! We need the information and it should be based on common rules.

New and additional finance – A key part of enhanced transparency in climate finance is defining “new and additional”. So don’t forget to keep that box in the Common Reporting Format for finance;.

National Communication guidelines need updating all around. Parties must agree in Durban to update the guidelines for both developed and developing countries. Currently, the text only has a provision for revising developed country guidelines.

Low Carbon Development Strategies – Most Parties seem to be forgetting paragraphs 45 and 65 from Cancún about low carbon plans, even if a lot of countries are moving forward domestically with them. Biennial reports focus on what has been achieved; but planning for a decarbonized future is crucial and that is where these strategies come in. We need a process to report on the development of those plans and share best practices.

Response measures don’t belong in IAR. (Do we need to say it again?) Consideration of the adverse impacts of mitigation actions is already done more than adequately as part of the annual review of GHG inventories. It has no place in the IAR process. This is a climate change convention, after all.

REDD+ reporting – A summary of REDD+ activities, including actions, methodologies, accounting and safeguards information systems, should be included in Biennial Update Reports and NatComms.

Beyond the text itself, countries could move the process forward if they made some concrete announcements. Take for example the USA. For all its rhetoric on transparency, they have yet to put forward serious money to support developing country biennial reports and the ICA process. The entire developed world has an interest in and an obligation to support these initiatives. Announcements of support in Durban would go a long way to ensure robust guidelines are adopted.

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The Lost Decade of Adaptation Finance

This year marks a decade since the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) was established at COP 7 in Marrakesh to finance the most urgent adaptation needs of least developed countries. Unfortunately little is said about the LDCF and there is less to celebrate.  Ten years on, and only $415 million has been pledged towards a total $2 billion identified to prepare and implement national adaptation programmes of action (NAPAs), the fund’s purpose.

Negotiators in Durban cannot reverse what has been a lost decade for adaptation finance. But they can and must secure an outcome in Durban that leads to reliable, sufficient and predictable flows of adaptation finance to developing countries in the decade ahead.

Apart from a few exceptions, we haven’t seen much evidence yet that climate finance won’t be falling off a cliff when fast start finance runs out at the end of 2013. Finance for adaptation in particular is an overriding priority for LDCs, SIDS and the most vulnerable countries.  But it remains an orphan in the bigger finance picture past, present and future. The current nose-diving of the international carbon price also means that the Adaptation Fund, which takes a fixed share of 2% from CDM projects, is at risk of having barely any money next year.

With emissions levels surpassing the IPCC’s worst case scenarios, it’s clear that huge amounts of money will be needed to address impacts of both more frequent extreme weather events and slow onset events. With emissions levels surpassing the IPCC’s worst case scenarios it is clear that huge amounts of money will be needed to address the impacts of both more frequent extreme weather events and slow onset events.

Yet only 18% of US) and 30%  of EU fast start finance is being spent on adaptation in 2011. Australia provides a better example, with over half its climate finance spend dedicated to adaptation this year).

The amalgamated LCA text has the potential to start addressing some of these significant shortcomings. There is concrete text on the table assuring developing countries there will not be a gap after 2012, and that climate finance will scale up between 2013 and 2020.

Another important matter is the balance between mitigation and adaptation finance, in particular option 2 which would guarantee at least 50% of all climate finance is earmarked for adaptation.

Finally, a work programme is needed to identify predictable and reliable long term sources of finance. As currently stated in the text, this should lead to concrete decisions by COP 18 and provide the best chance to agree the most promising sources of climate finance, including innovative sources such as a financial transaction tax, and a global price on emissions from international shipping and aviation that has no net incidence of cost on developing countries.

Negotiators can aim to land in a zone where clear guarantees can be given to developing countries that they will not be left ‘high and dry’ (or maybe that should be ‘hot, low and wet’) without any money to address the climate impacts that they have done nothing to cause. As all Parties have committed to set up the Green Climate Fund here in Durban, let’s make sure it is not an empty shell.

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African Expectations from Durban Climate Talks

Mamady Kobele Keita
Climate change team leader
Guinee Ecologie
Guinea

 

Durban 2011 - COP17 started last Monday, bringing together delegates from the parties to the climate convention (UNFCCC) and global and civil society organisations. For us, from Africa, the most vulnerable continent to the adverse impacts of climate change, the expectation is clear: reach an agreement that will help our poor communities to adapt, whilst maintaining their livelihoods through a sustainable climate funding regime. Indeed, none of the commitment were respected by Annex 1 countries in terms of finance or emissions reduction objectives. And even if the world’s global emissions are under control, we have no guarantee that the current impacts, from the historical emissions, will be reduced. Floods, droughts, and sea-level rise will increase. The situation is becoming worse since some countries have announced their intention to no longer support the Kyoto Protocol, the only binding agreement we have in the UNFCCC process. This is really bad news for the developing countries that are not responsible for the increase of GHG and global warming but are suffering from the adverse impacts to their livelihoods and environment.

So my expectation from these Durban talks is, fundamentally, on institutional arrangements for an efficient, sustainable and scaled-up financing system to help developing countries implement their adaptation programs.

To attain this objective, I’m participating in the process as one of the new recruits to CAN’s capacity building fellowship programme for civil society in the global south. My aims are threefold:

1.  to mainly focus on advocacy directed at developing countries delegates;

2.  to campaign against Annex1 countries who are blocking positions;

3. and to share critical information with developing countries delegates to help them to understand the loopholes contained in the negotiations texts.

As a delegate of the African civil society organisations, I will be sharing information I gather from the negotiations with the thousands of African populations who didn’t get opportunities and/or resources to attend this meeting. To communicate this information I will use Climate Action Network (CAN), the Climate and Development Network mailing list, the Guinean Adaptation Group, the Guinean Sustainable Development NGOs Forum, the mailing list of the national Climate Development Mechanism, and my personal blog (kobele.blogspot.com).

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CAN Intervention Finance informal, November 30, 2011

Thank you Chair,

I am speaking on behalf of the Climate Action Network.

In Durban parties must take strides towards the full operationalisation of the Green Climate Fund by 2013 and make progress on long-term sources of finance to fill the fund.  A decision on finance in Durban must include the following elements:

 
First, developing countries cannot afford delay to the operationalisation of the Green Climate Fund, and the work of the Transition Committee this year cannot be wasted. CAN strongly urges parties to follow the recommendation of the Transitional Committee to adopt the governing instrument of the Green Climate Fund.

Parties must also ensure the Fund is capitalized as soon as possible; which will require commitments here in Durban to cover the costs of the Board and secretariat in 2012 and to ensure a substantial first tranche of funding so that disbursement of finance can begin in 2013.

To be successful over time, the Green Climate Fund must have stable and predictable sources of capital.  Parties must therefore move forward on the most promising new sources of public finance here is Durban, such as carbon pricing for international transport.  Crucially, parties must also adopt a work plan here in Durban to further consider other sources of public finance next year ahead of decisions at COP-18, such as use of Special Drawing Rights and Financial Transaction Taxes and reallocation of fossil fuel subsidies implemented in developed countries.

Finally, parties must agree that there will be no financing gap after the “Fast Start Finance” period ends, and agree a trajectory to progressively ramp up financing to meet the $100 billion per year commitment by 2020. Some parties have insisted there is no risk of climate finance falling off a cliff in 2013.  Informal statements to this effect are welcome, but the process would benefit much more from a clear statement of this intent in the text.  

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