CAN Intervention at the High Level Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Finance, 20 November

CAN Intervention at the High Level Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Finance, 20 November

I am Winnie Byanyima from Oxfaminternational, and am speaking on behalf of the Climate Action Network,  a global network representing over 850 organisations. Thank you for allowing civil society to speak in this forum...

I’d like to start by reminding parties that we are here because COP18 in Doha failed to make concrete progress on laying out a roadmap for climate finance to 2020.  This Finance Ministerial was agreed at the last COP as a token of faith that progress would be made this year.

Our task today is to do more than talking.  Our task is to make progress towards agreeing concrete decisions on finance in Warsaw.  `

Time is running out. We as civil society believe that our leaders need to stay true to the agreement reached in Durban, which was to come to an ambitious climate agreement in 2015. We believe that climate finance is key to unlock progress on this common path we need to go through. The Philippine negotiator Yeb Sano spoke yesterday of ‘changed realities’ needing ‘changed politics’. I urge you all to realise what is at stake and ensure we can deliver progress here at this historic moment.

Current uncertainties around the provision of climate finance do not give the clarity needed by developing countries to help them develop in a low carbon way, and cope with a more hostile climate they did least to cause.

So what needs to be agreed in Warsaw:

  1. First, in Warsaw developed countries must give a clear signal that climate finance will increase over the coming years.  To deliver on predictability, parties must agree to craft a global climate finance roadmap through to 2020, backed up by credible pathways to scale up by individual countries.
  2. Second, a decision is needed to end the continued neglect of adaptation, which received only 20% of finance during the Fast Start period.  Developed countries must commit to ensuring a minimum of at least 50% of PUBLIC finance is allocated to adaptation.
  3. Thirdly, this COP must give confidence that important multilaterial climate funds will get the contributions they need.  This must start this week by developed countries taking the Adaptation Fund off life support and ensuring its modest $100 million funding goal is met.  And we need strong commitments that the Green Climate Fund will be operational and funded, at the latest by the UN Ban Ki-Moon summit in September 2014.


Tough economic times should not be an excuse for inaction. We know that a significant chunk of money needed could be raised through innovative sources such as the forthcoming financial transactions tax in Europe, or fair charges on emissions from international transport. We also know that international climate finance is dwarfed by the scale of finance developed countries invest in fossil fuel subsidies each year – estimated by the OECD to be over $58 billion.  What’s lacking here is not finance, but political will to drive forward the solutions.


Finally a word on private finance.   Private finance is needed, but it cannot substitute for public finance and developed countries must not use private finance to side step their commitments: 

  • For mitigation, public finance has vital a role to play in helping to catalyse larger private investments – estimated to be in excess of $1 trillion globally - if we are to stay below 2 degrees. If we are serious, far more than $100bn in public finance will be needed to leverage this scale of change.
  • For adaptation, over-reliance on mobilising private finance to meet the $100bn commitment will neglect the needs of the world’s poorest countries and communities. It will favour mitigation in richer developing countries which are more capable of absorbing private investment, and intensify the current neglect of adaptation support in the world’s poorest countries.


This roundtable must be the beginning not the end. We do not have any more time to lose - as the rapid increase of extreme weather events and slow onset climate impacts tells us. You are here to deliver concrete outcomes. At this finance ministerial, we need finance outcomes.