IBON International Update #2 from Doha COP18

Posted on 29 November 2012

Reportage from UNFCCC COP18 in Doha

Climate, Number 2   
DOHA, November 29, 2012  — Four main items were discussed at today’s meeting of the Contact Group on Finance, i.e., general statements on the report on the work programme on Long Term Finance, the report of the Standing Committee, report on the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and initial guidelines; and on the arrangements between the Conference of Parties and the GCF.
Several Parties made brief remarks on procedural matters, particularly reiterating the need for the meetings to be transparent and open to observers, and clarifying that equal attention to the four agenda items does not necessarily mean equal allocation in time devoted to discussing these. The Chair reminded Parties that it has been decided that the first and last contact group meetings would be open as they need to produce agreed elements under finance by December 6th.
As regards the co-chairs’ report on the work programme on Long Term Finance, it was important to press ahead with concrete actions at political (covering scale and mobilization of climate finance) and technical levels (financing the GCF and the enhancement of enabling environments).
Japan and Saudi Arabia expressed discomfort over proposals on sources for LTF, particularly referring to the possibility of considering maritime transport levy as a fund source. Norway commended the report for exploring innovative fund sources, including carbon pricing.
The Philippines (on behalf of G77/China) noted that there are many institutions undertaking climate change financing but that there, too, are many different interpretations on what constitutes climate change financing. While mobilization of financing is a mandate of the COP, it is not just a matter of counting sources. What is more important is the predictability and accessibility of these resources to address climate change.
Bangladesh, supporting the G77 position, reiterated the need to have an understanding on what exactly is meant by climate finance. It added that some contributor nations do not differentiate between climate finance and official development assistance (ODA) or aid, and went on further to say that funding for climate action in Least Developed Countries are in the form of loans which goes against agreed UNFCCC principles.  This was a position that was shared by Kenya and Uganda who declared that with the lack of an agreed definition of climate finance, there has been very little or even no distinction at all between ODA and climate finance.
The European Union commended the co-chairs’ report, which recognized that there is no single source that can address all climate financing aims. In finding pathways to scale up resources, the EU cited the very important role for the private sector, and cautioned on the dangers of “micro-managing” the GCF.
The United States commented on the difficulty of a political process under the COP ever coming to a decision on sources of climate finance, as Parties have very different ideas on this. It however, affirmed the Unites States’ commitment to deliver on the USD100-billion goal of
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