Strides Made on Climate Fund

A global fund to help the developing world deal with global warming is expected to be established in the next climate summit, which is slated in Cancun, Mexico. Photo by: Zack Mccarthy / CC BY Zack MccarthyCC BY

The international community inches closer to establishing a fund that will help developing nations deal with global warming.

At informal climate talks in Geneva last week, representatives from 50 countries explored how to mobilize the pledged USD100 billion annual climate financing from 2020 – possibly through carbon markets, higher plane fares, or taxes on shipping – which will be managed by the fund, Reuters reports.

“We think we should be able to establish the green fund in the conference in Cancun,” Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Patricia Espinosa said after the Sept. 2-3 informal talks.

Creating the fund will form part of a broad package in Cancun, including sharing clean energy technologies and protecting carbon-absorbing forests. 

But any deal in Cancun is likely to fall short of a full United Nations climate treaty, Espinosa indicated.

“We created a lot of expectations in Copenhagen that we would get a comprehensive, legally binding solution. We are no longer fixated on that,” said Swiss environment minister Moritz Leuenberger.

U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern said the creation of the fund comes with conditions.

In a press briefing in Geneva, Stern stated: “We made clear right away after Copenhagen that we were going to move forward on the fast start piece which is the 2010, 2011, and 2012 funding on an unconditional basis. But the other two big elements, the green fund and the longer-term funding, we’re not going to cherry-pick and do just those issues. That has to be part of a package that includes, as I say, essentially the agreements that we reached or versions of the agreement that we reached last year on transparency, mitigation and so forth.”

The Netherlands, meanwhile, launched a U.N.-backed website, www.faststartfinance.org, to help monitor how wealthy nations are keeping up with their Copenhagen pledge of USD30 billion in “new and additional” climate financing from 2010 to 2012, Reuters reports.

The website currently lists pledges by six European donors including Germany and Britain, and 27 aid-recipient nations. The U.S. will submit data in the coming weeks, Stern said.

Oxfam said the website was a “welcome first step” but stressed that the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change should also compile and analyze financial contributions of rich nations.

“Only transparent and exhaustive reporting on climate finance according to common rules under the UN will give confidence that the limited promises of Copenhagen have not been forgotten and that developed countries are serious about their commitment to fight climate change,” said Oxfam’s policy advisor, Romain Benicchio, in a statement.

About the author

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    Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.