Fast-Start Disclosure

ECO is in shock!  Are we really witnessing a race to the top for the transparency of fast start finance?

After months of pestering developed countries about fast-start disclosure, the United States – a country not known for its climate leadership – says it will disclose so much information that the Dutch fast start finance website will put up ‘under construction’ signs. 

Todd Stern stated at the finance meeting in Geneva that the US would undertake a ‘very detailed document’, much to the shock (and possibly horror) of its Umbrella Group colleagues. 

ECO understands the US will proudly announce that much of its fast-start finance is ‘new and additional’.  That’s easy to do when your previous climate finance contributions are close to zero.  On the other hand, this doesn’t help the comparison of additionality of different rich country contributions.  Only a fair common baseline across all contributing countries will allow that.  What’s actually additional gets even more complicated because the US seems ready to double-count funds for its G8 Food Security commitment towards its fast start package.

If the EU wants to call itself a climate finance leader, a common baseline to measure ‘new and additional’ is a real test of its conviction, and would pressure other rich countries to follow suit.  That’s the race to the top these talks actually need.   ECO would like to remind parties that disclosure and transparency is the first step towards creating accountability and confidence.

Whilst the EU worries about being put in the shade by the US report, they have an opportunity to reclaim their leadership on climate finance by agreeing internally a fair and common baseline for additionality and proposing it for adoption by all parties in Cancun.  ECO understands the EU has considered a common baseline proposal to be included in the EU Fast Start Finance report which could nudge the US to the same starting position.  We’ll know when that report is finalised by mid-November.

Finally, developed countries have no leg to stand on regarding MRV of actions if they cannot be transparent in their support.  We will know more in Cancun about US and EU commitment to transparency of both sources and uses of their fast start
finance, and that will be the time to check in on whether the Brollies have taken heed as well.  So stay tuned to your fast start finance channel right here in ECO!

Related Newsletter : 

Another day in the corridors...


There is more than a touch of irony that on the same day the Secretariat released a compilation of Party submissions on ways to enhance the engagement of observer
organizations, those same groups were kept out of all AWG-LCA drafting groups. 

ECO hears the reasoning for closed sessions is that negotiators will speak more freely and make better progress without representatives of civil society in the room. This is not entirely convincing, but ECO will certainly be looking for demonstrable signs of progress the rest of this week in Tianjin.

Related Newsletter : 

A Question of Balance


Eco is confused.  There seem to be a number of different definitions of ‘balance’, a word that has become high fashion in the halls of the Tianjin conference centre.  

But what is balance?  Is it ‘allow me’ or ‘after you’?  There have been a range of so-called ‘balanced options’ put forth in these negotiations.  A lot of times, though, it seems to be more about sequencing than balancing.  Some examples:

• Transparency before Finance

• Architecture before Ambition

• Higher Ambition before NAMAs

• Kyoto before LCA

• Rules before Targets

Instead, ‘balance’ should mean getting something you want, but also something of what you don’t want, in order to move forward.  But consider other comparisons that are also coming into play, such as:

• Profits before Science

• Coal before Floods

ECO would like to gently remind Parties that if one ‘balances’ the actions on climate change actually taken recently by countries against the number of major climate impacts felt this year, the scales do not tip in favour of an outcome that resembles any sort of equilibrium. 

Related Newsletter : 

Walking the KP Talk


ECO often chastises parties for too much talk and not enough action. However, yesterday’s vexed AWG-KP contact group on legal matters showed that sometimes refusing to talk blocks forward progress. If we are ever going to secure a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol – the only legally binding targets and timetables within reach – countries will need to talk about the legal steps to get there.

Therefore, we just don’t understand the refusal of the African Group, Bolivia, Brazil, China, India and Saudi Arabia to discuss legal matters in the KP (well, we do understand the Saudis and we simply don’t agree). Such inflexibility makes a second KP commitment period that much harder to secure.  

ECO has heard many developing countries say they don’t want to kill the KP, and we surely want it to live too.  In fact, lessons from the first commitment period ought to be reflected in amendments that make it even stronger.  Inserting numbers in an Annex is crucial, but should not be the totality of the discussion.  Let the legal talks and ambitious emission cuts begin!

Related Newsletter : 

Tianjin Climate Talks Webcast Briefing: Assessing the Kick-off to negotiations

Media Advisory

Tianjin Climate Talks Webcast Briefing
Assessing the Kick-off to negotiations

[Tianjin, China] An on-demand webcast is now available streaming this afternoon’s press briefing at the UNFCCC session in Tianjin, hosted by CAN International, assessing prospects for the Tianjin talks.


Angela Anderson – U.S. Climate Action Network
Assessing the big picture and the role of the U.S. in the talks

Ailun Yang – Greenpeace China
Discussing the role of China in the negotiations

Raman Mehta – Action Aid India
Spotlighting negotiations on finance

What: Briefing on the UNFCCC Climate Talks in Tianjin

Where: http://bit.ly/9PilrR - webcast on Demand

When: [Originally broadcast on Monday, 14:30 PM, local time, Oct. 4, 2010]

Who: NGO experts on UNFCCC negotiations

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 450 non-governmental organizations working to limit climate change to sustainable levels. For more information go to: www.climatenetwork.org.

For more information contact:

Hunter Cutting: +1 415-420-7498


Related Member Organization: 

Greetings from Chinese NGOs: Huanying lai Tianjin! Welcome to Tianjin!

The meeting this week in Tianjin is the first UN climate conference in China. We, the Chinese NGOs, want to give guests from around the world the warmest welcome and wish you all a pleasant stay in the city. Although Tianjin is a city famous for its local comedians, we hereby kindly ask the delegates to take this session seriously – please don’t turn it into a joke.

The climate conference in Tianjin is a historic event: the first opportunity for us to collectively present to the world our true grassroots climate change movement in China. In the run-up to the Tianjin conference more than 40 leading environmental NGOs synergized their individual initiatives and spared no effort in creating a full programme of Chinese NGO activities. We have prepared and are proud to present a package with many goodies called ‘Green China – Race to the Future’.

On Monday, many of you witnessed the opening ceremony at the Chinese Great Climate Wall with UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres. Some of you might have participated in the CCAN side event on impacts of climate change and the side event by the Beijing-based GEI on sustainable rural energy.

Besides the side events you can find in the Daily Programme, we have organized a series of events in the Meijiangnan International Club, a venue about 10 minutes walk from the Meijiang Center across the Youyi Road. The events include dialogue between different NGOs, presentations of Chinese NGO campaigns, and initiatives from the private sector.

The full programme of activities and a map how to get to the venue is available in the Meijiang conference center. You can also walk up to the Chinese NGO stands in the entrance and ask NGO colleagues directly for more information.

Among these activities, we particularly want to highlight the official launch and press conference of the Chinese NGO
position on climate change on Wednesday morning. It is a unique chance for the
international community to get to know Chinese NGO colleagues better and learn how we see the challenge raised by the climate change and what we want on this issue. We strongly encourage you to make good use of this opportunity, and we look forward to meeting you soon!

Related Newsletter : 

The Adaptation Fund Leads by Example

While Parties consider how to set up the new Climate Fund here in Tianjin, the Adaptation Fund, established under the Kyoto Protocol, has reached full operationalisation and set important milestones.

Two weeks ago, the members of the Adaptation Fund Board met again in Bonn and took decisions which mark the beginning of a new era in climate finance. The AFB approved the first two projects which will receive USD $14 million from the Adaptation Fund.

One project originated from Senegal and was submitted through the first accredited National Implementing Entity (NIE), the Centre de Suivi Ecologique. As the first direct access project, it focuses on combatting coastal erosion exacerbated by climate change and rising sea levels in three regions in Senegal: Joal, Rufisque and Saly.  The Senegalese project further stands out in terms of transparency and participation of local, vulnerable people in the decision-making. And it comes with a management fee that is only half of that charged by the multilaterals.

The second approved project was submitted by Honduras through the UNDP acting as the Multilateral Implementing Entity (MIE).  This project aims to reduce the vulnerability to climate change of the poorest households in the capital region of Tegucigalpa by improving water management.

Six further project concepts have been approved so far and may result in full project applications soon. But it is also notable that the AFB has rejected a number of projects.  The Board is taking seriously its responsibility for the quality of adaptation funding. Overall, it took two and a half years from the AFB´s operationalisation to the approval of the first projects.   By comparison, the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience under the World Bank so far has not put one single dollar into concrete projects.

In addition, direct access was expanded through the accreditation of two further NIEs, the Planning Institute of Jamaica and the Agencia Nacional de Investigacion e Innovacion of Uruguay. And the Secretariat of the AF has also reported that around 30 developing countries have expressed interest in direct access.

Finally, legislation to grant the AFB legal capacity by the German government is well underway and will hopefully be concluded soon, so that releasing project funds can
actually start early next year.

Congratulations, Adaptation Fund Board! You have managed to progress significantly on difficult issues and have led by example.

Related Newsletter : 


Subscribe to Tag: UNFCCC