Financial faux pas

3 December 2014

Yesterday the ADP contact group finally got down and dirty on the potential finance content in the Paris deal when negotiators discussed the finance section of the co-chairs non-paper. There is no point in denying that ECO was shamelessly excited to finally start the discussions on what must be an integral part of the 2015 agreement. Whilst probably not surprising to anyone that has been following the UNFCCC for more than a few minutes, it was a bit of a let down to have the first half of the session wither away in a flurry of process confusion.

When the dust had settled sufficiently for substantial talks to begin, ECO’s enthusiasm was curbed further. The US led the charge by requesting all references to the adequacy, predictability and additionality of finance removed. ECO almost suspects the American negotiator was deliberately speed-talking to hide the desperately dismal nature of the suggestions.

With onset depression, ECO, listened to the Swiss delegate start off on a constructive note by pointing to the paragraphs they would like to see in the actual agreement, the ones that could be addressed in other decisions and the parts they didn’t agree with. However, without warning they suddenly launched a frontal attack against the idea of an ex-ante process leading to quantified finance commitments. They were very clear that this idea was an abomination they would never suffer. ECO is, as most of our avid readers will know, convinced that quantified commitments are essential to, inter alia, provide predictability to developing countries.

And while it may be legitimate to disagree on content, ECO didn’t like the Swiss bullying tactics. ECO is convinced that this kind of approach rarely leads to constructive and fruitful discussions.

ECO also witnessed Sudan questioning the possibility of climate finance being gender sensitive. ECO has no doubts about this not only being possible but also highly necessary.

While this first leg of the finance discussions ended on a less than positive note, ECO is hopeful that today’s continuation will be more constructive in looking at ideas of how to ensure that wealthy countries contribute their fair share to the global effort by providing the necessary finance, as well as other necessary support.

Financial faux pas

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