CAN Intervention: CAN with CJN, Gender YOUNGO and TUNGO in High Level Ministerial Dialogue on Finance, COP20, December 9, 2014
Hello, my name is Blessing Mutiti and I am speaking on behalf of the youth, ENGO, gender and trade union constituencies.
We want to stress the importance of climate finance for all our constituencies and the people we represent. Many of those who are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change are least responsible for causing it. So providing climate finance is a legal and moral obligation of developed countries – those countries who have the greatest responsibility and capacity.
Without adequate, new and predictable finance, developing countries will not be able to contribute towards mitigation, nor will they be able to adapt. Finance is crucial for supporting those countries and their communities in proactive adaptation to climate impacts, and for ensuring that the transition we are asking all countries to make is a just one.
The recent UNEP adaptation gap report gives an indication of both the scale of finance that we need for adaptation in Africa alone and how quickly that scale increases if we fail to mitigate adequately. Strong commitments to climate finance from developed countries are necessary for progress in these negotiations, but also – just as importantly – for the impacts this finance has on the ground, for real people.
Like some of you have mentioned, we also welcome the recent pledges to the Green Climate Fund, an important institution that has the potential to be groundbreaking in its operations. The GCF, if it lives up to its principles of country ownership, direct access, gender sensitivity, stakeholder engagement, and supporting transformational rather than incremental change, is precisely the institution we need to face up to the climate crisis.
However, these pledges to the GCF are only a starting point of what needs to be a long-term financial commitment for developing countries beyond the initial resource mobilization period. $10 billion is a good step, but it is nowhere near the actual needs in developing countries. If spread over the four years of the GCF’s initial phase, this is only $2.5 billion per year, compared with the $100 billion a year expected by 2020, much less the hundreds of billions of actual needs. So we need something more here in Lima – namely, a finance roadmap leading up to 2020 and the promised $100 billion per year.
Developing countries need predictability. To make concrete national mitigation and adaptation plans, these countries must know what level of support will be available. Furthermore, they – and we! – need political assurance that the money will actually flow. A lack of clarity in climate finance since the end of Fast Start Finance has eroded trust and slowed progress in these negotiations. The same thing could happen if the GCF pledges are not followed up with specific, quantified indications of what finance will flow in addition to the GCF money, as well as after the GCF’s initial period.
A finance roadmap, in which countries give concrete, quantitative indications about how much finance will be available each year until 2020, would go a long way towards reassuring us all that finance will be available to address the climate crisis with the decisiveness it requires, for both mitigation and adaptation, with additional financing needs for implementing a loss & damage mechanism. This roadmap should include targets for the aggregate public finance that will be available for developing countries each year, scaling up to the $100 billion goal for 2020.
Leveraging of private sector finance should not be counted toward fulfilling that goal. We question the increasing trend of prioritizing public-private partnerships and the ‘transformative’ role of the private sector in combating climate change without equally challenging the fact that private companies are not obligated to invest in social needs and global public good, nor accounting for the ways in which the private sector, especially large transnational corporations, have contributed to establishing the unsustainable development model which drives catastrophic climate change. We affirm that regulation, and accountability and transparency of non-state actors, particularly transnational corporations and public-private partnerships, are critical for achieving sustainable development. Therefore, we urge caution to avoid the casual promotion of public-private partnerships to catalyze action on climate. We call for transparency, accountability and rigorous adherence to the numerous normative rights frameworks and legally binding agreements in the field of sustainable development, which provide the foundation for the work of the United Nations.
In addition to the fact that finance needs to flow, it also needs to flow to the right things. We stand firm that fossil fuels and high-risk technologies that create irreversible damage to our health and the planet must be kept out of a 2015 agreement, and must not be supported by climate finance. If dirty and harmful energy is financed by the GCF or other climate finance channels, the very legitimacy of those institutions will be called into serious question – an outcome none of us want. All climate finance must be provided in the context of the strongest possible social and environmental safeguards and respect for human rights.
We urge you to deliver for the communities, youth, women, workers, and everyone else we represent. Without adequate and predictable finance, there is no 2015 agreement in Paris. Without adequate and predictable finance, there can be no safe, clean energy revolution. Without adequate and predictable finance, there is no just transition to a sustainable future. It is your responsibility to ensure the finance is available for all these things that we all want – and we are committed to holding you accountable to that responsibility.