Did You Say Finance is Political?

8 September 2018

In the corridors of the UN conference centre in Bangkok, ECO heard a widespread old mantra: “Finance is POLITICAL”. Well, yes, finance is political, as most of the issues you’re negotiating here are. Should it prevent Parties from progressing on the elements in the agenda, therefore putting at risk an ambitious overall outcome by Sunday? Clearly not. Is it an excuse for the EU to spend their time in rainy Bangkok hiding behind a toxic Umbrella? Hell no. Countries cannot leave Thailand without a clear pathway on finance from here to Katowice.

Speaking of political, Parties should actually think hard about how to elevate the finance question between now and Katowice, in order to find the much needed landing zones to set modalities to make climate finance predictable, define a new finance target by 2025 and adopt robust accounting rules for finance. Let ECO remind you that by December, you will have many opportunities to address climate finance at a high political level: you should use the IMF/World Bank annual meeting, the Pre- COP and G20 to send the right signals that finance will be taken seriously and progress by COP24.

While ECO expects you to arrive in Katowice with clear options to make climate finance a strong element of the Paris rulebook, we also hope you will make the best use of the high-level meetings you”ll have there. Why not, for instance, shape the High-level Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Finance as an open dialogue to take stock of progress on finance, identify barriers and solutions to bridge the finance gap, and demonstrate you’re ready to provide real money for real action? It starts with having finance Ministers in the room. Then, you could use the biennial assessment and overview of climate finance flows, the strategies and approaches that we’re sure you will all have submitted by then, as well as the synthesis report from the UNFCCC Secretariat, and the annual joint report on climate finance from MDBs to inform your discussions. Finally, a successful ministerial meeting would recognize the progress on climate finance towards the USD100bn goal, while acknowledging the finance gaps especially regarding adaptation and the need to consider finance for loss & damage over and above this objective. Last but certainly not least, wouldn’t it be a great occasion to commit to an ambitious Green Climate Fund replenishment? Let’s say … doubling the overall scale of commitments. That should be a bare minimum, ECO thinks!

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