High Level Finance

10 April 2010

Spring is in the air here in Bonn, and ECO, recovering some optimism after a long and well deserved break, hopes this season will usher in a cooperative and productive initial session. And of course with Spring comes spring cleaning. It’s time to dust off those Convention booklets and drag back into our minds all those acronyms that rolled off the tongue over the past few years. And in line with spring as the time of planting and planning ahead, ECO presents a new acronym: AGF, or the Advisory Group on Climate Finance … catchy, huh? The AGF, comprising a handful of political and financial heavyweights, first met last week in London to discuss how to raise substantial amounts of climate finance. From all reports it appears to have been a positive meeting. Importantly, the AGF (we’re still getting used to the acronym, bear with us) agreed to assess all options on the table and keep an open mind where there are potentially diverging views. Rumour has it we might get more than a long analytical shopping list in the final report – potentially, in fact, a hierarchy of feasible and equitable options – what a Christmas/Navidad present before Cancún! With the fresh feelings of Spring, we have high expectations of what this group can deliver. Whilst the Group has a wide mandate to look at public and private sources, ECO feels the strong expertise and political gravitas in the room should be laser-focused on unraveling the deadlock in the negotiations on innovative public finance sources. This is not to say that other sources won’t be a part of the picture, but these leaders are best placed to brainstorm. Other sources will also likely start flowing if some public finance is available for leverage, and if we see ambitious mitigation targets.At present the AGF is somewhat of a mystery. Though ECO has clocked who’s represented on the Group, we would dearly love to dispel some of the myths about it, but without a website or comprehensive information, transparency is still elusive. This would enable more effective participation by civil society and other stakeholders to strengthen this process.

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