The unusual suspects

10 December 2009

ECO had heard rumours about the possibility of a Mexican and Norwegian marriage on climate finance, but did not expect to see polygamy in the UN hallways. And it seems UK and Australia could not resist this love affair either.

ECO wants to congratulate these odd bedfellows coming together. Any clarity on what Parties actually mean is most welcome, in this opaque and mystifying atmosphere. ECO is feeling mildly optimistic about the explicit references to the Norwegian proposal and bunkers as finance sources from these countries. We have been tearing our ever-greying hairs out on the lack of progress around innovative mechanisms. However, ECO must remind the Parties involved that there may not be any offspring, even from a four-way union, unless this work is linked to an explicit reference to the scale of money needed. It is recognition of scale which will concentrate minds on the need for innovative sources, not vice versa.

ECO is also seriously concerned about the wishy-washy language on additionality. If there are new sources, shouldn’t the money they raise come on top of existing ODA targets? Otherwise this promise of funding is just an empty gesture and one which has devastating consequences for the poorest.

If we are looking for further reasons to be cheerful, ‘Direct Access’ is in the proposal! But what ECO wants to know now is this: does this allow for those who will be most impacted by climate change to have a voice in decisions? This is not clear, and worse, the text alludes to letting international financial institutions through the back door. What would the consequences be as to how this could operate under the authority of the COP?

Finally, we were wondering. Given the insistence on using existing channels to deliver ‘fast start finance,’ do our loving foursome plan to make sure that urgent NAPAs – sitting unfinanced for eight years – will see some money at last?

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