In order to get a deeper sense of what the main issues at the COP 19 climate negotiations are, I along with three other team members, decided to attend a panel discussion organized by the Third World Network (TWN) which is a global network of organizations is working on development related issues. The discussion included representatives from Mali, The Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Philippines, all of whom presented what they considered should be the priorities at COP 19. The message was clear – developed nations are lagging behind, not only in commitments but in implementation as well, since resource mobilization is not being carried out effectively. Across the board, Public Finance, seems to be the burning issue of not only this specific discussion, but at the conference. The amplified voices of these developing nations highlighted that market mechanisms have proven to be unsuccessful, and that equity and ambition of targets as well as finance from developed nations for the Green Climate Fund is needed. The Green Climate Fund aims to create a repository of financial resources for adaptation and mitigation purposes in developing nations. While the semantics of what constitutes as “Climate Finance”, “Public Finance” and “Private Finance” have not yet been established, it was clear that most developing nations expect at least $100 billion per year in public funding from developed nations for the Green Climate Fund. The all-encompassing issue of disparity once again manifests itself, as most developed nations propose to rely on private funds instead of public ones (as proposed by the developing nations) to finance the Green Climate Fund. The panelists from the Democratic Republic of Congo emphasized the need to develop clarity about what would constitute as long term finance, the timelines and commitment levels associated with it, as well as the allocation mechanisms. The climate negotiator from the Philippines brought up the inadequacy and inaction on long-term finance, and that the $100 billion by 2020 is a political figure, not a scientific one. Overall, mobilization of finance for developing nations, who are vulnerable to impacts of climate change, seems to be one of the major themes of the conference, which will be played out in the context of equity and burden sharing in the next two weeks.
Author: Puninda Singh