Climate finance initiative launches as talks continue
An initiative aimed at promoting public-private financing mechanisms, which have successfully supported climate change adaptation and mitigation, was launched in Doha on Thursday, as pressure on countries to clarify the question of long-term funding at the summit continues.
The launch coincided with an "open-ended consultation on finance", UN documents show, which will see ministers or others heading up countries' delegations deal with the thorny question of finance hanging over the climate negotiations on the day.
Meanwhile, EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard confirmed by Twitter that EU countries have pledged over €6bn in climate finance, which exceeds numbers promised at summits in the last two years. However, this is a mere fraction of what developed nations as a group have promised to pay to developing countries over phase III of the EU emissions trading system (ETS).
Developed countries are lagging far behind their financing pledges for the first Kyoto commitment period, undermining their credibility when it comes to meeting their pledged $100bn (€77bn) 2020 target. Furthermore, it is still unclear where exactly this sum should come from.
Meanwhile, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica, Peru and Guatemala have formed a new negotiating bloc, AILAC, which Hedegaard also welcomed on line.
The World Economic Forum and the United Nations Climate Change secretariat announced that they had formed the "Momentum for Change: Innovative Financing for Climate-friendly Investment" initiative last month (see EDCM 6 December 2012).
Climate finance is not the only yet unresolved issue hanging over the summit another is the problem posed by the global surplus of the Kyoto Assigned Amount Units (AAU) credits. Earlier this week NGOs highlighted that countries are running out of time to curb surplus UN credits that environmentalists say must be cancelled if the next Kyoto Protocol commitment period is to be effective (see EDCM 4 December 2013). Similarly, the EU has yet to come to a unified position on the matter, with some countries in favour of cancelling the surplus while others, such as Poland, remain vehemently opposed.
Some have warned that this could make it difficult for the EU to negotiate a strong AAU deal at Doha. The bloc has so far struck a bilateral deal with Japan at the summit, according to Hedegaard, who revealed that the EU had extracted a "promise" from the country not to buy any AAUs on Thursday.
However, environmentalists want the surplus cancelled altogether. MLDB
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