Bunkers Has an Important Shipment to Deliver

7 October 2010

The final report of the Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing (AGF) that was established by the UN Secretary General early in 2010 may be the most anticipated document in the climate negotiations these days. 

In November, the AGF panel is expected to deliver recommendation on the crucial question of how to generate, at a minimum, $100 billion per year by 2020, providing a crucial part of the groundwork needed for a new and dramatically scaled-up strategy for climate finance as a whole.

One thing is already clear for sure: no single source will serve as silver bullet to achieve that target. A combination of different instruments will have to be found.

As a result, attention is focusing on some of the major pieces.  And there is no question one of those top-tier sources should be revenues generated with regard to emissions from ‘bunker fuels’ (international aviation and maritime fuels). 

An international levy or auction revenues assessed on aviation and shipping would deliver predictable, consistent and additional public funding to support climate actions by non-Annex 1 countries.  If properly structured, this could eventually contribute as much as $40 billion per year.  Without that, it will be nearly impossible to collect the public funds that are needed in aggregate for climate finance.

In assessing various alternative methods, it is clear that in order to avoid carbon leakage it is imperative to take a global sectoral approach.  On the revenue side it is economically reasonable to include all countries.  But for fairness reasons it is crucial to ensure that the respective contributions of developing countries are fully refunded, and there are quite a few detailed proposals for doing so.

By increasing the resources for the new fund through stable contributions from the transport sector, developing countries would benefit from the increased support available for adaptation, REDD and other measures.

So delegates, as you land on your flights back home, remember to transmit this message to your capitals: now is the time to support the development of productive
instruments to generate climate finance from international transport.  It is essential for putting the necessary scale of financial support on the table.

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