Climate Finance: Deal Maker or Deal Breaker?

14 June 2013


Sitting in Monday’s briefing for observer organisations, ECO was delighted to hear the incoming President identify progress on climate finance as a “clear priority” for COP19.

We couldn’t agree more! With the Fast Start period behind us and only a handful of countries with new money on the table, we’re in need of some giant strides between now and the end of Warsaw.

At a minimum, all developed countries must set out, in a way that ensures comparability, the climate finance they will provide over the period 2013-2015, that is comparable and commit to a roadmap for scaling up public finance and reaching US$100bn per year by 2020. The Green Climate Fund must not be left an empty shell – for a fourth COP in a row. And if we’re to confront the enduring “adaptation gap”, Parties should agree that at least 50% of all public climate finance between now and 2020 will be spent on adaptation.

So Poland, now is the time for a good hard think about what it will take to deliver this kind of progress by November. ECO’s advice: It’s time to bring in those who hold the purse strings. That’s right, we’re talking finance ministers. If you’re serious about some big decisions on finance, which ECO believes you are, then we need to involve Finance Ministries and Treasuries in the conversation as soon as possible. That means bringing them into the process before or early in COP19, not just having them swoop in at the end and try to cut last minute deals.

Then there’s the “in-session high-level ministerial dialogue” to prepare for. This is one opportunity we cannot afford to let slip. ECO is looking forward to seeing Finance Ministers sitting down to work out their new commitments and make decisions on promising new sources of public finance. If you put out the invitation, we’ll be sure to do our part in encouraging them to come along.

And when it comes to pathways for scaling up, ECO suggests you have a word with those lovely chaps chairing the Long Term Finance Work Programme. It’s time to gather these almost two years of deliberations into some clear decision options for Ministers, including on new and innovative sources of public finance.

Parties have been emphatic these last two weeks about the need for an ambitious deal that is guided by science as well as equity and capable of keeping warming to within 1.5-2oC. But developing countries simply cannot unlock their mitigation potential unless there is the necessary financial support. Furthermore, vulnerable countries must be given confidence that their escalating adaptation needs will be met.

Finance will be the glue that holds the 2015 deal together. Real progress on this front will be a major step towards an ambitious outcome.

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