So Where’s the PUBLIC Finance?

11 November 2013

ECO’s ears are hurting from the deafening noise developed countries are making around private finance as being the key to scaling up climate action and meeting the $100 billion target.

Maybe we are just finding it hard to see, on the evidence provided, that developed countries are really trying hard at all to mobilize enough public finance to address developing country needs for mitigation and adaptation. It’s hard not to conclude that maybe they’re just trying to get away with as little public finance as possible. But so far, the sad reality that since the end of Fast Start Finance, developing countries have been given no clarity on the future scale of public finance they can work with.
Worst of all, most developed countries’ climate financing levels have either plateaued or decreased. And it also turns out most public finance reported to be available in actuality is recycled ODA or loans to be repaid. Do developed countries really expect the private sector to fill the climate finance gap as it continues and even increases investment in the multi-billions in fossil fuels each year? ECO's sense of humour does not stretch that far.

Meanwhile, ECO has been doing some homework too. Here’s the maths for those private finance-loving Parties.

While surely the private sector must be involved in fixing the climate crisis, private investment won’t reach many of the most vulnerable countries and communities, especially for adaptation. So US $100 billion of public finance will be the key — and a small price to pay for avoiding subsequent trillions in irreversible loss and damage.

And if climate finance is to be used partly to catalyze climate-friendly private sector action in developing countries, given the scale of investments needed (in excess of $1 trillion, so we have heard), the $100 billion must be all public.
Getting both immediate pledges for pre-2020 finance and a roadmap for how we’ll scale up public finance to (at least) $100 billion by 2020 is crucial – both for actual climate outcomes and for trust in these negotiations. If ECO were a smart cookie/developed country Party, scaling up public finance would be right at the top of its (finance) ministerial agenda in Warsaw.


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