In his remarks to the Parties on Wednesday, the Adaptation Fund (AF) chair underscored the great achievement made by the Fund this year. He emphasised, among other things, that the AF has now accredited twelve National Implementing Entities, which allow for direct access of developing countries to the funds of the AF. Experience shows that this has also triggered the strengthening of institutional capacities to manage project funds. For ECO, this is evidence that direct access is no longer a pilot test programme perceived as highly risky, but rather a reality. In addition, two years after its first call for proposals, the AF has approved 25 concrete urgent adaptation projects covering all fields of adaptation, with several more in the pipeline. A key objective is to target the most vulnerable groups.
In late November 2012, world governments will meet in Doha, Qatar, for the UN Climate Change Conference, to firm up the outcomes of the Durban conference held in 2011.
Christian Aid believes Doha gives governments a vital opportunity to advance global cooperation in confronting the challenge of climate change. It believes it is possible to achieve an ambitious outcome from the conference that will deliver on all the elements of the package agreed in Durban.
It comes as little surprise that some of the biggest sticking points in this Rio+20 process concern on Means of Implementation. There have been numerous proposals for ambitious new goals, but what good are they if there is no new funding provided? Securing stable funds for development is always a challenge, but it seems particularly difficult at Rio due to the current stress on western economies following the financial crisis.
With painful cuts being made at home, how can these countries be expected to commit money to programs that will have only indirect benefits for their own citizens? The challenge is daunting and it drives much of the cynicism that surrounds Rio+20 both in the media and in quiet conversations at Rio Centro.
This cynicism can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, but as Mr. Sha has reminded the conference “failure is not an option.” ECO agrees, funding for sustainable development must be found. And we have a suggestion.
Over a million global citizens have already thrown their support behind this incredibly obvious solution: stop giving money away to polluters. Nearly $1 trillion is spent on fossil fuel subsidies each year. If countries are at all serious about tackling the challenges of sustainable development, these subsidies are the first thing that needs to go.
The window for action on climate is closing, yet we're still pouring public money into this deadly industry. Rich nations claim austerity and continue spending billions in subsidies to oil, gas, and coal producers. You can't build a green economy on a dirty foundation.
Fossil fuel consumption subsidies, primarly in developing countries, also do not generally help the poor. the IEA has shown that only about 8% of consumer subsidies go towards the poorest 20%. And numerous reports have shown that fossil fuel subsidies are ineffective ways to promote energy access or provide social safety nets.
Clearly, this trillion dollars of dirty money could be better spent and should be viewed by delegates as one of the best sources of alternative finance.
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.
Distinguished delegates. Thank you for the opportunity to speak. My name is Lies Craeynest from Oxfam International, and I will speak on behalf of the Climate Action Network.
Over the past week, we’ve heard discussions in a variety of forums here in Bonn on how to address the urgency of climate change by increasing emissions reductions and mo-bilizing enough climate finance to help fund the transition to a climate resilient future for all. Well, ECO has found just the source to help both of these efforts – end fossil fuel subsidies by 2015!
Let’s start by raising mitigation ambition. The UNFCCC re-ceived many submissions on raising ambition. 111 countries were represented in the sub-missions citing phasing out fossil fuel subsidies as a po-tential source of additional emission reductions repre-sent. And how often does that happen?
Perhaps all 111 countries saw the recent statements by the Chief Economist of the International Energy Agency, who said that phasing out fossil fuel subsidies could provide half of the emission reductions needed to stave off dangerous climate change between now and 2020. Now, because the devil is often in the details, phasing out these government handouts could go a substantial way in helping close the gigatonne gap. The ambition work programme under the ADP would be well-served to include this in its deliberations.
Now, on to finance. Recent estimates show that fossil fuel subsidies in rich countries could be in the tens of billions of US dollars, to perhaps as much as $100 billion. How about, instead, governments spend that money to support climate change fighting efforts? ECO encourages delegates to include this in discussions of both short-term and long-term finance.
While we’re at it, let’s all make sure we’re talking about the same stuff. The numbers quoted above are estimates, mainly because the data out there isn’t transparent enough to allow for more precise figures. But, wouldn't you know, the UNFCCC could provide just the tools to increase transparency in this area through its national communications and biennial reports. And since so many UNFCCC parties want to remove these subsidies, why not report on their existence and efforts to remove them? Who doesn’t like taking credit for doing good things, after all?
ECO hopes parties here at the UNFCCC will take note of the multiple benefits of removing fossil fuel subsidies. ECO encourages delegates to speak to their colleagues in the G20 and Rio+20 negotiations as well, so that progress can be made wherever possible, in order to end fossil fuel subsidies by 2015.
This year’s long term finance work programme provides a critical opportunity for focused and constructive engagement on sources of climate finance and developing country financing needs. 2012 should be a pivotal year for climate finance, as Fast Start Finance comes to an end and developed countries start on the path to US$100 billion per year by 2020
Negotiations on long-term finance have faced significant headwinds in recent years, and analytical work has been limited to ad-hoc and one-off initiatives like the UN Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing, and fora with limited and exclusive memberships such as the G20. If rich countries want to show climate finance is not just another broken promise to poor countries, they must use this year’s work programme to help make significant progress on agreeing to a roadmap to scale up funding over the next eight years to $100 billion per year by 2020.
To help ensure this ambition is realised, ECO would like to highlight the following objectives for the work programme, for consideration by parties attending today’s UNFCCC consultation on its scope
It is vital the work programme contributes to decision(s) at COP18 that make concrete progress towards scaling up finance, including:
- Identifying and advancing promising sources of predictable and assured finance, especially public sources, such as providing guidance to the International Maritime Organisation and International Civil Aviation Organisation on generating financing from measures to address emissions from international shipping and aviation, as well as financial transaction taxes and public finance liberated in developed countries through the elimination of their fossil fuel subsidies
- Providing a roadmap for reaching agreement on a pathway to mobilising $100 billion by 2020, including maximisation of public sources channelled through the Green Climate Fund, an appropriate role for the private sector and a trajectory for developed countries to scale up
- Establishing a shared understanding of developing country financing needs, based on a review of recent literature on mitigation and adaptation financing requirements
- Clear commitments to provide scaled up finance from 2013 onwards, including for the capitalization of the Green Climate Fund
This work is all the more urgent given the link between raising and delivering climate finance and reaching the goal of staying below 1.5/2 degrees C of warming. Scaled up finance to support increased ambition in developing countries is critical to move them towards low carbon development pathways.
In addition to constructive engagement on these areas through the work programme, all parties must be afforded sufficient spin-off group time in Bonn, Bangkok and Doha to participate in defining vital decisions for agreement at COP 18. In this respect it is imperative the Work Programme is seen as a complement to, rather than a substitute for, negotiations involving all parties.