It’s the Scale, Stupid

2 September 2015

In the endless repetition of long-standing positions that passes for climate finance negotiation these days, one message comes through loud and clear: the Paris agreement–yes, the core legal agreement, currently largely in Part 1 of the co-chairs’ tool–must address the scale of finance to be provided post-2020.

Failure to do this will undermine trust, contribute to a lowest-common denominator deal (or even no deal), and bring us closer to the 3 or 4°C-warmer future we all dread.

ECO is well aware of the difficulties: post-2020 is beyond national budgeting cycles, finance ministries and political leaders must be engaged, etc., etc.

But let’s move into solutions mode. ECO concedes that firm numbers will not be in the core agreement. But let’s think about what can go there. Here is a start:

  • The US$100 billion-by-2020 commitment will be a floor for post-2020 finance.
  • Financial support will be scaled up over the post-2020 period until climate goals are met, and (to pick up on what the EU said yesterday) the most capable countries will contribute such financial support.
  • Ex-ante financial targets (aggregate and/or individual countries) will be agreed on a rolling basis, on a 2- to 5-year cycle.
  • Mechanisms, provisions or processes to enable developing countries to identify their needs to enhance action.
  • Recognition of the catalytic and central role of public finance, with at least 50% going to adaptation.

Scaled-up finance from multiple sources can be targeted to enable climate action in a variety of ways, through:

  • Traditional channels of financial flows
  • New financing arrangements for activities with high mitigation potential identified through Workstream 2 and an ongoing technical examination and prioritisation process, and
  • Matching of finance with conditional activities that have been identified in developing countries’ INDCs.

ECO is convinced that if all the big brains around the finance table really tried, they could find ways to incorporate these ideas. This includes finding even better ideas that can provide certainty that financial resources will be available.

Such certainty is the requisite to unlock the maximum mitigation and resilience potential in developing countries, by complementing their own domestic efforts to shift public and private financial flows.

It’s the Scale, Stupid

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