Sifting Through the Clutter on Finance

2 June 2015

ECO imagines that negotiators have spent the night looking for gems in the Geneva text’s finance section in order to prepare smart interventions for today’s informals. This will not have been in vain. The text contains everything needed to build a robust framework for the provision of financial support in the Paris agreement.

All countries should contribute their fair bit to shift financial flows, public and private, away from dirty fossil fuels and towards renewable energies and energy efficiency. And to be clear, developing countries will require support for this ‘shifting of the trillions’ exercise.

Another good idea found in the text involves periodically setting collective targets for the provision of this financial support. After all, if the Paris agreement is to include contribution/commitment cycles for mitigation, it makes a lot of sense to organise financial support around similar cycles. Separate targets would be set for mitigation and adaptation funding, not only because the nature of support required for each differs, but also to ensure that sufficient support is provided for adaptation, which has been terribly neglected up to now.

The text’s next promising piece is its emphasis on needs assessments. There are numerous references that support should meet developing countries’ needs. To understand those needs, ECO suggest looking more closely at enabling developing countries to periodically assess what support they need to enhance climate action. Maybe this process could also be streamlined to fit into the overall contribution/commitment cycles of the Paris agreement.

Negotiators who wonder where all the money should come from may like the idea that Paris could mandate an intensive look at the potential of innovative sources for additional public finance. For example, revenues from emissions trading, a financial transaction tax, or a levy on the extraction of fossil fuels could result in billions of dollars. Finally, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) could look again at their ability not only to cut emissions in international transport, but also channel revenues from doing so towards climate finance.

Sifting Through the Clutter on Finance

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