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COP22: WORDS ARE GOOD. FINANCING IS BETTER

Heads of state and ministers from all over the globe have arrived to Marrakech this morning. They have come to reconfirm their commitment to the Paris Agreement, to celebrate the increasingly faster pace at which successes in the fight against climate change are occurring and to make sure that early action before 2020 is on the table, something essential to fulfil the commitments that we all agreed in Paris last year. Also importantly, they have come to attend a high-level meeting that will take place tomorrow in Marrakech and will possibly be one of the most important discussions of COP22: a dialogue about climate finance and the $100 billion roadmap.

Climate finance is the set of financing that aims at tackling both the causes of climate change (such as greenhouse gas emissions, whose reduction falls within which is commonly called ‘mitigation’) and its impacts (or, more concretely, the need for countries to adapt to those impacts, such as changes in agricultural patterns, which is called ‘adaptation’). In 2009, developed countries committed to mobilise USD $100 billion of climate finance per year by 2020 to support developing countries’ efforts to address both climate change adaptation and mitigation. While climate finance on its own will not resolve the climate crisis, the $100 billion roadmap indeed matters, as it provides developing countries with more predictability in available finance. This would be very valuable to help them plan well for climate action and to leverage more domestic sources.

This $100 billion roadmap is expected to be discussed at tomorrow’s high-level ministerial meeting, after which a formal commitment to scaling up international climate finance should be adopted under the UNFCCC process before COP22 finalizes. Ministers from developed countries will present tomorrow their contributions, which in 2014 were estimated at only US$62 billion. According to the European Commission, the EU Member States contributed in 2015 with €17.6 billion to international climate finance

Developed countries made a roadmap’s proposal before COP22, which suggests that with current commitments the public finance for adaptation would be likely to double and overall public finance would likely increase around 50%. This is, however, far from enough. Indeed, doubling adaptation finance by 2020 would mean that only around 20% of the $100 billion would be addressing adaptation, while the coalition of developing nations (so-called G77), which are the ones most affected by climate change and most in need for adapting, calls on developed countries to rather quadruple adaptation finance. The need to balance adaptation and mitigation in climate finances has been a historic claim, increasingly urgent as the needs for adaption to climate change are expected to soar in the near future. Additionally, there are doubts on this roadmap’s methodology, which has been devised exclusively by developed countries. What counts for climate and what does not count is a key political question whose response must come from all parties.

Developed countries have been for too long formulating claims about the importance of climate finance for developing countries. Simultaneously, the real economy is being quick to respond, and myriad initiatives are being created every day to help mobilise finance to combat climate change, from North Africa to as far as the United States. The commitment from the international community to contribute to this challenge and do so with public finance is absolutely essential. Words are good, world leaders. Funding is better.

Source: Greens EFA "stop climate change" campaign

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