Tag: finance

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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CAN Intervention, AWG-LCA Closing plenary, 7 October 2011 (English)

 
CAN intervention
Closing AWG-LCA Plenary
Panama, October 7, 2011
 
Delivered by Sandra Guzmán, CEMDA
 

Thank you Mr Chair
 
I am speaking on behalf of the Climate Action Network.
 
To get to the deal we need in Durban, we have some advice for some of the countries present
here:
 
EU: You know what you have to do. The KP is in your hands
Australia and New Zealand: Get off the fence. Commit to a Kyoto 2nd Commitment Period.
Japan, Canada, Russia: don’t destroy our only legally binding multilateral treaty.
LDCs and AOSIS: stay strong. we stand in solidarity with you
US:  
     o Come with a mandate to reach agreement on long-term finance in Durban.  
     o Agree to a common accounting system based on the KP rules.
BASIC - your domestic climate leadership can shape the future climate regime we all need.
This is your time!
Africa: Durban is your COP, it is your moment, fight for the agreement you need.
 
To you all: Address the gap in ambition between your pledges and what the science requires.  
Be prepared to come to Durban TO ADOPT THE SECOND COMMITMENT PERIOD OF THE KYOTO
PROTOCOL and AGREE ON A MANDATE FOR A legally binding outcome in the LCA.  IT is time to
bring A SENSE OF URGENCY to these negotiations... IN DURBAN, YOU WILL GAIN A LOT IF YOU
GIVE A LITTLE.   

Thank you Mr Chair
 
 

 

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Sandra Guzman calls on countries to step it up

Sandra Guzman calls on countries to step it up

 Sandra Guzman from CEMDA explains that countries need to increase their commitments on long-term financing before COP17.

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Finding the Finance

ECO is pleased to see the discussions on long-term finance in Panama finishing on a better note than they started. Too many hours in Panama were lost as developed countries pondered whether there was a need to even discuss how to mobilize the money they committed in Cancun. At one stage one developed country party even seemed to query what climate finance was.

 Let’s hope all that is now water under the bridge (or through the Panama canal). Yesterday the EU joined their partners in AOSIS, the Africa Group, India and Saudi Arabia in submitting text on long-term finance. As ECO goes to press, there is news that Japan and even the US are bringing their own ideas to the table. That sounds like consensus on the need to negotiate a package on long-term finance in Durban. The homework countries face until then, is what that package will contain.

Two upcoming meetings in the meantime may give them some ideas. First, the final session of the Transitional Committee will start to clarify the ambition of the Green Climate Fund. Many developed countries have said they are waiting to hear more about the contours of the fund being created before committing the resources that will ensure it is not an empty shell. ECO hopes that the final meeting will again capture the imagination of governments North and South. The world needs a new kind of fund to meet the climate challenge and spur commitments at the scale of resources needed.

Second, G20 finance ministers and leaders will discuss the report they requested from the World Bank and IMF on sources of long-term climate finance. The leaked preliminary report indicated an encouraging analysis of the potential to raise large sums from the international shipping sector, without hitting the economies of developing countries. ECO was told the report will show that a $25 per tonne carbon price will increase the costs of global trade by just 0.2%, while generating around $25 billion per year. ECO was particularly pleased to hear that the World Bank and IMF have found that it is possible to compensate developing countries by directing a portion of these revenues to them, ensuring they face no net incidence as a result of these measures. That would be a unique international solution to the high and rising emissions of a unique international sector.

ECO has never questioned the legitimacy of the UNFCCC process to take the final decisions on questions such as sources of finance. But any responsible country that is serious about generating the scale of resources so urgently needed – especially by the poorest countries – will not ignore such strong evidence to help do that.

So ECO leaves Panama with cautious optimism on the finance track. Countries have finally come together to negotiate text. With the inputs they will receive from the Transitional Committee meeting and the G20, there is every chance they can arrive in Durban ready to strike the real deal on long-term finance that developing countries need.

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Drought in Ethiopia Requires Financing From Developed Countries...Do It by Durban!

Mahlet Eyassu: what is needed on climate finance this year.

Photo Credit: Manjeet Dhakal

Mahlet Eyassu
Climate Change Program Manager
Forum for Environment
Ethiopia

We are now in Panama, for the intersessional which is the last meeting before the Conference of the Parties (COP) in Durban. The 17th COP will be in Durban, South Africa, which make this a very important COP for Africa.  Africa along with Least Developed Countries and the Small Island States are the most vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change. Even though Ethiopia is one of the least developed countries that is showing a rapid economic growth, it is still being affected by drought.

At the moment the Horn of Africa, including Ethiopia, is confronted with recurring climate change related disasters, in particular prolonged droughts and floods. This drought is said to be the worst in 60 years. Drought is not something new for Ethiopia nor the Horn. However, it has become more recurrent and severe in the last decades.  Climate change is making the matters and problems worse for us who are under-developed.

In order to address the impacts of climate change, countries are negotiating under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In its 15th and 16th meetings an agreement was reached that developed countries will be supporting adaptation and mitigation actions of developing countries. We are now approaching the end of 2011, where the fast start finance of $30 billion for the years 2010-2012 is about to end. The other decision we have is the one on long-term finance to mobilize $100 billion by 2020. So far there are no pledges from the developed countries for the year 2013 and onwards.  That is a worry for us coming from the developing world. We have learned some lessons from the fast start finance, which is not new and not additional to the ODA, but is just relabeled as climate finance, given in the form of loans instead of grants. There is an imbalance between adaptation and mitigation with more money going to mitigation actions instead of adaptation.

Forty member countries of the transitional committee are designing the Green Climate Fund (GCF) of whose works will be presented in Durban to be approved by the Conference of Parties (COP).  However, most developed countries do not want to have any form of discussion on long-term finance which is supposed to fill this fund. With all of these climate related disasters happening in most parts of the world, especially developing countries being the most vulnerable and having no capacity to adapt, adaptation finance is very crucial for us. It is a matter of survival and should be taken seriously by others. Developed countries need to get more serious and commit themselves to discuss the sources of finance that will feed into the new fund. If we want an outcome in Durban, most discussions and texts need to happen here in Panama.

It is good to note that, developing countries at the local and national level are also working to raise funds for their adaptation and mitigation actions. In my organization back home, Forum for Environment-Ethiopia, we have started an initiative to raise funds, which can be used for some local adaptation actions. We have started implementing the green tax initiative in which 1% of our salaries are deducted every month. We have done this for the past year and have raised small amount, which has not been used yet. Now we want this to be taken up by other organizations at the country-level to show our commitments by raising more money and taking  local initiatives. We have started the process of engaging others to hopefully have a larger impact. Progress in Panama in all issues, especially finance, is very important for us to achieve something in the African COP in Durban.
 

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CAN SIDE EVENT -

Scaling-up Climate Finance from 2013

16:30-18:00 - Miraflores (Sheraton)

How to ensure sufficient and scalable longterm public climate finance starting in 2013, after the end of FSF. CAN will discuss the need for new and additional budget contributions and assess options for mobilizing supplementary sources of innovative public finance, consistent with CBDR.

 

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Charting a new course on shipping emissions

Panama could not be a more fitting place to reboot the negotiations on controlling the high and rising emissions from international shipping. Last month’s G20 finance ministers’ discussions on raising climate finance from international transport suggest there is a huge opportunity to do so.

The magnificent sight of the Panama canal is a reminder of the scale of emissions from the international maritime fleet. Shipping is already responsible for 3% of global emissions – more than those of Germany, and twice those of Australia. Without urgent action, emissions could triple by 2050, likely ruining any chance of keeping global warming below the 2°C target agreed in Cancun, let alone the 1.5C target needed. Tackling the emissions from this sector is a vital part of the efforts needed to close the emissions gap.

A step in the right direction was taken this June when governments in the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) established energy efficiency design standards for new ships. But welcome though this was, it will only reduce shipping emissions by around 1% below business-as-usual levels by 2020.

It is clear that weak efficiency standards alone are not enough. A carbon price for shipping is needed to drive emission cuts at the scale needed – applied either through a bunker fuel levy or the auctioning of emissions allowances in a new sectoral emissions trading scheme.

As the preliminary report of the World Bank and IMF shows, a carbon price of $25 per tonne would raise the cost of global trade by approximately 0.2% - or $2 for every $1000 traded – and would raise $26 billion per year by 2020. The report suggests that to make a global agreement stick, this revenue should be used to compensate developing countries for the economic impact of higher shipping costs – ensuring they face no net incidence as a result – and as climate finance.

Even after some revenues are used as compensation, this should still leave at least $10 billion per year to be directed to the Green Climate Fund. That would be a significant step towards the $100 billion per year that developed countries have promised to mobilise by 2020, which – unlike Fast Start Finance pledged to date – should be genuinely new and additional to existing promises of development assistance.

The World Bank and IMF report shows the way to a new approach to tackling shipping emissions which Parties meeting in Panama must seize. Building on the work in the G20, a decision in Durban on the key principles of this approach would give the IMO all the guidance needed to get to work on designing and implementing a scheme that delivers a double dividend for the climate. By helping to close the emissions gap, and fill the Green Climate Fund, such a deal on could be a flagship of success in Durban.

CAN letter to LCA Chair regarding submissions and expert meeting opportunities arising from Bonn June 2011 intersessional

CAN has identified the important submissions, technical expert meetings, workshops etc that should be undertaken to progress work in order that Durban should be successful in establishing the basis for a fair, ambitious and binding agreement.

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CAN Submission: Transitional Committee for the Green Climate Fund, July 2011

Climate Action Network-International
Submission to the Transitional Committee for the Green Climate Fund
29 July 2011

On behalf of the more than 600 member organizations in the Climate Action Network International, we appreciate the opportunity to provide the following submission to the Transitional Committee (TC) as it begins the preparation of options papers for consideration at its 3rd meeting. We would also like to thank the TC for its transparency in providing documents and meeting agendas on its website in a timely fashion.

Our overall interest is to ensure that the GCF plays a transformational role both in the way it is governed and operates and in terms of the adaptation and mitigation outcomes it achieves. It should accelerate the shift to low-carbon and climate resilient development pathways by scaling-up resource flows for ambitious and effective climate-related policies and actions in accordance with country-led strategies, and it should incentivise synergies between the GCF’s strategic objectives and the achievement of overall national development strategies and the production of development co-benefits. We believe it is vital that civil society and other stakeholders be full partners, both at the international and national level, in determining the way in which the GCF will finance climate action.

Country-led strategies and direct access as basis for funding

At the 2nd meeting of the TC, there appeared to be an emerging consensus that finance should be provided by the GCF in accordance with country-led strategies. Indeed, GCF support will not be effective or transformational unless it is based on principles and modalities of country ownership, with an articulated national strategy and planning and budgeting processes that mainstream climate change as the core framework through which finance will be delivered. Where necessary and requested by a country, the GCF should provide resources and capacity to help countries develop national strategies and enhance the mainstreaming of climate change in their planning and budgeting processes.

Finance can be provided as budget support or for specific programs, but in any case (including for private-sector finance) should clearly be provided according to a country-led strategy and plans, such as NAMAs, low-carbon development strategies, NAPAs, NAPs, etc. As further described below, a country-led strategy should be developed and overseen by a multi-stakeholder mechanism that includes government, civil society, affected communities and the private-sector. These processes will need to be designed by countries according to their particular circumstances.

In order to ensure country ownership for the management of climate finance, it is also vital that the TC fully implement the direct access modality as the preferred method by which developing countries will access finance. This should include providing financing through nationally-based implementing entities, perhaps including multiple entities in individual countries, to coordinate the implementation of country-led strategy and plans.

In addition, direct access should be considered for subnational entities, such as subnational governments and women’s and Indigenous Peoples’ organizations, to facilitate innovative, diverse and locally-appropriate initiatives. Such funding also should be pursuant to national strategies and plans, while allowing access for sectors of society that are under-represented.

Multi-stakeholder mechanism for development and oversight of country-led strategies

Ensuring real country ownership and the most effective development and implementation of country-led strategies will depend on meaningful stakeholder engagement at the country level. Past experience with finance models such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and with country strategy processes such as the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) compacts can help to inform the development of such multi-stakeholder mechanisms and processes.

Multi-stakeholder mechanisms should aim to bring together government, civil society, affected communities (including women and Indigenous Peoples) and the private-sector to develop and oversee country-led strategies in order to ensure that those strategies and their implementation are as robust and inclusive as possible. It will not ultimately be possible to act in transformational ways to promote low-carbon and climate resilient development without an inclusive process that brings a range of country-level expertise and interests to the process. All of this also holds true for effective monitoring and evaluation of finance delivery and implementation.

In order to achieve these goals, we propose that the following language be included in options papers for the 3rd TC:

Funding shall be based on the development and implementation of country-led strategies developed and overseen by a multi-stakeholder mechanism/process that includes civil society, affected communities (including women and Indigenous Peoples), and the private sector. Such a mechanism/process should be designed by a country according to its particular circumstances.

Stakeholder participation and input must be meaningful, with full transparency regarding all aspects of finance and implementation and with adequate guidelines and capacity building to ensure full accessibility to the mechanism/process on an equitable basis, including for women, Indigenous Peoples, and other especially vulnerable populations and communities.

Monitoring and evaluation processes shall enable stakeholder participation and input, including from affected populations and communities, including women and Indigenous Peoples.

Stakeholder and civil society representation on GCF Board

Experience with multilateral funds over the past decade has shown that stakeholder representation and participation on the board of such funds can provide significant benefits in terms of contributing expertise and knowledge, strengthening public support, and facilitating effective governance and oversight. Examples, using varied models, include the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, and the Climate Investment Funds. To achieve these benefits, and drawing on these past experiences, we propose the following stakeholder participation model for the GCF:

The GCF Board should include the following stakeholders as non-voting members:

  • Developing country CSO representative (1)
  • Affected communities representative (1)
  • Developed country CSO representative (1)
  • Private-sector representative (1)

Gender Sensitivity and Inclusiveness

At the 2nd meeting of the TC, there was substantial discussion of gender as a key issue for the TC to address. Women are disproportionately affected by climate change, and they are also key actors in building successful adaptation and mitigation responses at local, national and global levels. In order to fully address gender and women’s concerns, the GCF should ensure:

  • Balanced gender representation on the GCF Board and all Fund sub-boards, as well as in a future GCF Secretariat, advisory panels and other GCF bodies.
  • Full participation of women at country level in development and implementation of country-led strategies and plans (including balanced representation in country-level mechanisms and processes)
  • Full participation of women in affected and local communities in project planning, implementation and evaluation, together with safeguards and indicators to ensure gender equality
  • In following best practice at other global financial mechanisms (Global Fund and GAVI), the development of a GCF gender policy and a GCF gender implementation plan of action

Social and environmental safeguards

The TC should align the GCF’s social (including gender) and environmental policies with those internationally-agreed conventions, codes, action plans, soft law instruments, and sectoral best practice standards that give substantive content to the Parties’ commitments to promote sustainable development and environmental protection in their climate-related actions.

The GCF should build on the work of other international institutions that have already undertaken some standard setting in their areas of expertise, and create an institutional mechanism to ensure harmonization with other relevant UN treaties including, but not limited to, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, and the Convention on Biological Diversity. The policies and procedures of multilateral development banks provide an additional resource for developing standards, to the extent that they may represent the highest standard, but they should not necessarily be the primary benchmark for harmonization.

The TC should ensure that the GCF’s social and environmental policies use at least the current highest standard of safeguards. Proliferation of standards overburdens develops countries and can lead to a least common denominator approach; conversely, common high standards will ensure both social and environmental integrity as well as increase effectiveness and efficiency.

Public access to critical project information is also essential, in particular for affected people to have a meaningful voice in how projects will be designed and implemented, how project costs and risks will be distributed among affected people, and how negative impacts will be mitigated and managed. As a practical matter, placing such information in the public domain in ways that are timely and easily accessible may substantially improve its quality and rigor. Allowing affected individuals and civil society organisations the opportunity to independently scrutinize the assumptions and methodologies of the project sponsor, and to test its conclusions against their own understanding of the local conditions, would help ensure that the GCF makes decisions based on the highest quality data available.

Transformational Action for Mitigation

At the second TC meeting, there was apparent consensus on the need to target Green Climate Fund mitigation funding towards those actions that are designed to have a “transformational” impact. Two categories of actions should meet this benchmark. First, it should include economy-wide or sector-wide actions, based on country-led strategies that would rapidly and significantly lower a country or region’s emissions trajectory. The GCF should assess programmatic interventions to determine those that can deliver the most tonnes of CO2 abated per dollar spent and per year, to ensure that its resources are devoted to securing the fastest, cheapest elimination of tonnes of CO2, also taking into account development objectives and safeguards. The focus here should be on supporting policies and programs to reduce financial and other barriers to the widespread deployment of proven technologies. The GCF should only support clean, safe, sustainable and efficient and non fossil fuel-based energy technologies. Second, “transformational action” should also include initiatives that may deliver smaller immediate reductions, but have the power to radically transform markets and patterns of private-sector investment over the medium to longer term.

While there was apparently broad agreement at the second TC meeting that the GCF should have the capacity to “leverage private-sector investment,” most of the discussion addressed the need for mechanisms to encourage private-sector co-financing of GCF supported actions. This kind of support is not necessarily transformational. Rather, the GCF should focus on supporting initiatives that reduce costs and eliminate barriers and perceived risks to the deployment of emerging low- and zero- carbon technologies and approaches, so that they can more quickly outcompete high-emitting technologies without ongoing public support. Feed in tariffs are an example of an approach that can catalyze the diffusion of near market technologies, and thus accelerate learning and the achievement of economies of scale. One-off projects that do not have broader market impacts should not be considered transformational.

Private-sector finance

Private-sector finance was discussed extensively at the 2nd meeting of the Transitional Committee. As various modes of undertaking private-sector finance are considered, it will be vital to ensure that private-sector investment (1) is undertaken through national institutions and in accordance with country-led strategies and plans, and (2) strengthens sustainability and resiliency of economies in countries receiving climate finance. If this is not done, the GCF will run a serious risk of undertaking private-sector finance as one-off projects that will not be connected to broader strategies aimed at achieving low-carbon and climate resilient development.

In addition, engaging the private-sector should not add to unsustainable debt or pass significant risk burden from the private to public sector in developing countries. Moreover, the GCF should engage private finance only when private financiers can guarantee transparency and accountability for complying with robust standards on environmental, social, and development effectiveness, as well as the implementation of robust due diligence processes designed to address financial, social, and environmental risks, and produce effective mitigation and adaptation outcomes. Further, the GCF should uphold best practice in financial oversight and governance practices.

The TC should also take into account that experience in development finance and carbon finance demonstrate the difficulty of matching the private-sector’s need for return on investment with the need for financing global public goods. Left on its own, international private finance often bypasses poorer countries, resulting in investments disproportionately going to larger middle-income countries and towards large-scale mitigation projects.
The TC should ensure that GCF resources directed toward the private-sector make substantial contributions to sustainable, vibrant local economies in developing countries, including in low-income countries. In order to support endogenous development that stimulates local entrepreneurship, the TC should assure access to financing for small, medium and microenterprises.

Finally, the GCF should not inappropriately provide finance for carbon offset projects and should ensure that its private-sector finance does not result in any double-counting of mitigation action by developed countries.

Balanced allocation for adaptation & mitigation

A key role of the GCF should be to address the current imbalanced funding for adaptation, and an initial share of 50 percent of the Fund’s resources should be allocated to adaptation. The appropriateness of these initial arrangements should be kept under regular review. The current system of climate financing is providing significantly greater resources to mitigation than to adaptation. It is estimated that less than 20% of major dedicated public climate funds to date have been disbursed to adaptation. In line with the “objective of achieving balanced allocation between adaptation and mitigation” set out in the TC’s Terms of Reference (Appendix III, 1c) it is vital that the GCF is designed to address this gap by guaranteeing a fair share of resources for adaptation. In addition, adaptation finance should be provided in the form of grants.

Restrictions on earmarking by donor governments

In order to ensure that a fully balanced allocation between adaptation and mitigation is achieved, and to avoid allocating funds not in keeping with the goals of the GCF Board, contributions to the Fund should be made without advance earmarking. Decisions on allocation between programmes, countries, or thematic windows should be made by the GCF board. Earmarking for specific windows should be allowable only if evidence of the need to do so is agreed by the GCF Board.

Ability to access wide range of financial sources

The GCF should be structured in such a way that it can receive funding from a wide range of financial sources, including national budgetary contributions and innovative public financing, such as from international transport mechanisms or financial transactions taxes. Both regular replenishments from national budgets and continual sourcing should be available to the Fund.

Legal personality

At the 2nd meeting of the Transitional Committee, the issue of the legal personality of the GCF was raised by a number of parties. In our view, the GCF should be granted or acquire explicit legal personality in order to ensure that the Fund has the requisite legal capacity to undertake its functions effectively. This is particularly necessary so that the Fund can enter into contracts in order to implement direct access to the Fund.

Redress mechanism

Another important element for effective stakeholder inclusion early-on is to ensure that there are easily accessible ‘redress mechanisms’ at every level of decision-making, including national and international levels, to which stakeholders can take their grievances. Such a mechanism has also been referred to in the WS IV scoping paper (TC-2/WSIV/1, page 7).
Three minimum criteria are necessary for these redress mechanisms to be credible: independence, public accountability and effectiveness. To ensure the independence of the mechanism, members should be chosen from outside the institution, and their budget should be independent and adequate. For public accountability, the public and affected people should have access to every stage of the redress process, and the mechanism must be transparent so that it is credible and understandable for affected people. To be effective, the mechanism must have the authority to ensure that their recommendations are acted upon

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