Good Things Come to Those Who Talk
6 October 2011
One of the key emerging stumbling blocks for an outcome in Durban is the unrepentant blocking of progress by some countries on long-term sources of finance. ECO is not amused by the strong arm tactics of the US, Japan, and Canada. As part of the balanced package in Cancun, countries agreed to meaningful progress on finance, which didn’t just include creating institutions. After all, why create bank accounts if you don’t fill them with some money?
These few countries are either confident they can get the money they have committed mobilized all on their own, and don't need to talk about how to do that here, or they weren’t serious in the first place.
Giving these countries the benefit of the doubt and assuming they’re serious about keeping their long-term finance commitments, it's not unreasonable for others to ask them what their plan to deliver on those commitments looks like. Surely discussing the plan with others will also be mutually beneficial – after all, many heads are better than one.
A new process to discuss the mobilization of long-term finance would enable countries to bring their best ideas into the mix. It would enable all countries to start talking about how to implement a certain finance option or set of options. Instead of talking about the “many, many” reasons why they can’t do something, Parties could discuss how to find solutions. Last we checked, saying “no, no, no” doesn’t qualify as problem solving.
ECO is disappointed that these countries – with so much finance expertise – wouldn’t see an opportunity to help mobilize the kinds of resources needed to address climate change.
Opportunities exist that can help the US, Canada, Japan and others to raise the resources they have committed, if they work with partners in this process, not on their own outside it. Spurring a process to price emissions from international shipping under the International Maritime Organization is just one example.
So stop blocking and instead help to create a process to bring to bear your expertise in finding solutions. You are claiming that you are doing a lot to scale up climate finance, there will be no gap between 2013-2020 and that you are fully committed to deliver on your long term finance commitments. So why resist moving forward via having text as basis for negotiations?
We know that there are red lines issues, but this shouldn’t be one of them for the U.S., Japan, and Canada.