Rich Nations Must Lay out $100B Fund to Save Climate Deal

A failure to lay out funding intentions at UN climate talks in Peru could imperil 2015 global agreement in Paris

Published by Anadolu Agency Dec 4.

The wealthiest nations must define how they will finance a climate change fund for developing countries, or risk derailing a global deal next year, environmentalists said Wednesday.

Developed nations have agreed to supply $100 billion annually to the Green Climate Fund beginning in 2020, to help affected nations combat and prepare for climate change.

Details of individual contributions had “no clarity,” Jan Kowalzig, Oxfam International’s policy head at the talks, told The Anadolu Agency.

“Without progress on this before and after 2020 there will be no deal in Paris. Getting an agreement to craft a global finance road map is an essential outcome for the COP (Conference of the Parties) in Lima,” Kowalzig added.

An accord to bind almost 200 nations to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions this decade will be negotiated from Dec. 1 – 12.

The South Korea-based fund neared its $10 billion target for the two-week summit, currently coming up short with $9.7 billion provided by 22 countries.

“The news provides important political momentum, but as the people on the frontlines of this crisis, we know all too well that the world is still well short of the level of action needed to avert catastrophe,” said Marlene Moses, chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).

Samantha Smith, head of the World Wildlife Fund’s climate and energy initiative, said the current pledges amounted to “seed money.”

“If you look at the totality of needs – not only for energy transition, for forests, for adaptation – that number can be very big indeed. Obviously that $100 billion may not be enough,” Smith said.

A Wednesday report published for the first time figures on global financial flows relating to climate action.

They stood at between $340 and $650 billion in 2011-2012, the Standard Committee on Finance, commissioned by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) said.

But flows from developed to developing countries – which includes the sending of Dutch-manufactured wind turbines to Bolivia for example – was a meager $35 to $50 billion.

That’s far short of the sweeping finance effort required to hold global temperatures to a 3.6 F (2 C) increase this century, averting climate calamity.

The money was a “proxy for trust” for developing nations, said UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres. Those countries were currently “out of pocket,” having assumed costs of adaptation as sea levels rose and droughts became more common.

With $90 trillion to be invested globally in infrastructure in the next 15 years, Figueres called on nations to back the “technologies of this century and not the technologies last century.”

More than 70 percent of the so-called “climate finance” came from national sources for developing nations, the report said.

Climate finance was an “absolutely critical issue” said Kowalzig, with views differing among nations about what proportion public and private sources would assume.

Developed countries had been “deliberately vague” as rules had never been set to agree how they much would set aside, Kowalzig added.

“The vast majority needs to come from public funding,” Smith said.

Greater public money has a better potential to leverage private financing, as economies shift to renewable energy and clean technologies.

It also supported adaptation projects, which the private sector might not find “commercially viable” and would withhold investment, Smith added.

How money from the fund was directed had to be transparent.

It emerged Tuesday that Japan partly-financed an Indonesian coal-fired plant in Indonesia with climate finance money.

While within the technical rules, financing fossil fuels through the GFC was “unacceptable,” said Lidy Nacpil, Jubilee South Asia Pacific Movement for Debt and Development.

It was “in conflict” with the UNFCCC’s principles to ban investment in dirty industries within the fund, she said.

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