Climate finance: Crucial for COP 22

 

Climate Finance: Crucial for COP 22

By Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache

 

Paris Agreement

 «  I want that the question of the implementation of finance will be fixed before the opening of  COP 22.» Not easy.  But this is what the French Minister, Ségolène Royal  said  last week, during the press conference on the enter into force of the Paris agreement.

segolene-royal

The Paris agreement will enter into force the 4 of November.  At least 55 countries representing at least 55% of global emissions have ratified it.

“The reason we were able to pass the required threshold so early is that many of the largest emitters in the world – including the United States, China, India, the EU and a number of its member states – recognized the need to continue the momentum from Paris and joined swiftly to bring this Agreement into force as quickly as possible,”  Secretary of State John Kerry said in a press release published a week ago.

Challenges

But there are still several issues to achieve the 1,5° required by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change by 2100.   The national pledges are far beyond  the 1,5° required, reaching currently 3°, and the climate finance  is still an enigma for many experts.  The Paris Agreement specifies that there is  a commitment to review national pledges every five years. For the climate finance,  it is a different story. Many climate finance mechanisms exist but are unreachable  in Africa according to experts.

In 2009, during the Conference of the Parties in Copenhaguen, a 100 billion US Dollars fund has been announced to help developing countries fighting against climate change by 2020. This fact was emphasized in the Paris Agreement. One of the sources of this climate finance is the UN Green Climate fund. With $10.3 billion,  there is a long way to go for funding this UN Fund, observers note. But for the French Ministry of Environment, they will be “a big push for funding it”.

The Green Climate  Fund(GCF)

“The GCF has made great progress by raising a US$10 billion budget – a really positive sign. But the challenge now is to use this to approve the game-changing programmes that will really transform economies. Our message to the board is more speed and less haste, advised the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) recently in a Q and A.” .For  the chief economist IIED, Paul Steele, the process of accreditation should change. The Board Member of the Green Climate Fund should choose ministries of local government rather than multilateral agencies.  “It will better target the most needed people,”   Steele noted. To him, the Green Climate Fund board should  give an accreditation to  the ministries of local governments in Tanzania and Mali. Moreover,  they should take into account, the private sector, especially the small and medium companies of  the Least Developing countries. “The green Climate Fund the GCF should have a clear focus on supporting Small and Medium enterprises: the GCF can also mobilize private investment in adaptation through facilitating research and development, technology and insurance for climate resilient agriculture and infrastructure,”  Steele explained.  Enhancing direct access   is also one the request of IIED.

Financing Adaptation

Concerns are raised regarding financing adaptation activities. According to the  UN Environment Programme, the costs of the climate adaptation for sub-saharan Africa is estimated to $67bn by 2050..

These past few months, several discussions and meeting have been held about adaptation.

Recently, twenty seven african ministers have adopted a declaration to help raising finance on Africa Agriculture adaptation during COP 22 . The question of climate finance  brings together  both private and public finance. But, the climate finance  reviewed in the last OECD report  presented mostly public finance and only 16%  included adaptation.

Official Development Assistance

Least Developing Group‘s chairman at the UNFCC and board member of the Green Climate Fund, Tosi Mpanu Mpanu, interviewed  a few month ago  by public finance international, said that financing climate change is problematic. Because, there is no common definition of climate finance, accounting methodology is not impartial. To him Climate finance should be « new and additional », and not part of the official development assistance ( ODA).

Official Development  Assistance  is laid down in climate finance said many experts.  If Official Development Assistance  was to fall, climate finance would then decrease, according to observers.

To the international NGO Oxfam, the five year period of the French president, François Hollande was marked by an amputation of 20 percent of bank loans, almost 700 million euros dedicated to  fight against climate change. ODA is therefore important on climate finance perception in France, but also in the UK.

But Britain Exit (Brexit), the exit of the United Kingdom  from the European Union  can have an impact in climate finance?

No,  the French Minister of environment retorted, during the press conference on the enter into force of the Paris Agreement.

“ The United Kingdom  has reaffirmed clearly his intention to ratify the Paris Agreement with the obligations, rights and duties of the text,”  she described.

For Seyni Nafo, chairman of the African Negociators group at the UN Convention on Climate Change,  Brexit might have a negative impact in climate finance. The African Negotiators group reviewed many scenarios.

photo Nafo

«  With the UK  leaving the European Union, the finance included in ODA for Africa might decrease : there won’t be money transfer between the EU and the UK,” Nafo explained.

And he added: “Maybe the UK targeted action of mitigation will be less important, maybe the EU will have to decrease its ambition in the 40 percent [announced during COP 21].”

What is the role of the UK in climate finance?

“The United Kingdom is among countries which have a high ambition in energy, in reduction emissions and in finance. It is  one of the rare EU countries where Official Development Assistance was maintained and even increased under a right wing government,” Nafo underlined .

How to reach the 100 US billion dollars?

To the chairman of the African group of Negotiators, the climate finance response is coming from head of African States and from their own funding in reality. “But one can’t  forget that it is not about  co-development but historical responsibility,” Nafo recalled. Developed countries  have an obligation  to ensure the access to  climate finance to developing countries, he said.

In Paris, during  COP 21, many multilateral and bilateral meetings have been held  with commitments. This year, several climate finance meetings have been held on market mechanisms, loss and damages funding, adaptation,  mitigation. In the next few years, private sector will have to play a key role in innovative finance.

Ahead of COP 22, there will be a climate finance day in Casablanca to channel financial flows towards low carbon trajectories and and to highlight a range of solutions  supported last year during COP 21.

Nafo and his colleagues are working on  a monitoring framework on the climate finance announced in Paris. This mechanism will help African ministers to question their partners during COP 22, he said.

According to the president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, “COP 22 is very important to get climate finance right  for Africa.”.  “This is fundamental, he added.”

Watch the COP 22 video with the president of the ADFB

Climate Finance: Crucial for COP 22

Author: houmi

I’ve started my career as a student in journalism in South Africa in 2001 at Rhodes University in Grahamstown ( Eastern Cape). With a bachelor degree in Communication and Information obtained in France, my native country, I’ve decided to learn investigative journalism in South Africa. So I followed a one year intensive course, studiying journalism specialized on TV, but also Writing and Editing and New Media. During my studies, I followed two internships in Johannesburg. One with Business Day ,a well known South African economic media and the other with Agence France Presse (AFP).

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