Climate finance action plan can set table for Paris deal

Breaking the Standoff

In a new report, Breaking the Standoff, Oxfam details how current pledges are out of step with the magnitude of need in developing countries and calls on world leaders to outline a robust new strategy to boost climate finance. Developed countries promised to mobilize $100 billion per year in climate finance by 2020, but headway in mobilizing that funding has been slow.

December 1, 2014

Climate finance action plan can set table for Paris deal, says Oxfam

Lima, Peru - All countries must use the COP 20 Summit in Lima to resolve the impasse over “climate finance,” and make success possible at the critical Paris talks in December 2015, says Oxfam.

In a new report, Breaking the Standoff, Oxfam details how current pledges are out of step with the magnitude of need in developing countries and calls on world leaders to outline a robust new strategy to boost climate finance. Developed countries promised to mobilize $100 billion per year in climate finance by 2020, but headway in mobilizing that funding has been slow.

Canada announced a new $300 million contribution to the Green Climate Fund at a high-level pledging conference in Germany last month. This is a welcome announcement and an important step in helping the most vulnerable adapt to climate changes that are wreaking havoc in their lives.

If progress is made on climate finance, the clean development that poor countries can achieve could be spectacular. Ethiopia could lift millions of people out of poverty while avoiding annual carbon emissions to the equivalent of 65 coal-fired plants. Peru could increase its GDP by nearly 1% more than business as usual while halving its emissions at the same time. Indonesia could fulfill its plan to cut emissions by 41% in 15 years.

However, the $100 billion climate promise can only be the start. Sub-Saharan African countries alone, for example, will need $62 billion per year to invest in climate adaptation. An effective climate policy regime will also unlock hundreds of billions more in private investments and move the world onto a low-carbon path that keeps warming below 2°C.   

A key reason for the gap between current climate investments and climate needs is that donor countries have managed to avoid accountability for their fair shares. Too few details have been agreed by negotiators about how financial flows will be mobilized, which countries will mobilize them and which countries will receive them. This has undermined developing countries’ ability to create effective plans for their adaptation and mitigation needs.

“Canada has made important contributions to global climate financing since 2010, but it can and must do more,” said Lauren Ravon, Oxfam Canada’s Senior Policy Advisor. “Canada should present a clear plan on how it intends to scale up its contribution over the next six years to help meet the global $100 billion target by 2020. A robust plan should include the commitment to providing all climate finance in the form of grants, not loans.”

Oxfam’s report offers a blueprint for progress on climate finance in Lima, showing that it is possible to protect the world’s poorest people from the worst impacts of climate change, unlock significant economic growth, and slash emissions. The blueprint shows how a Paris agreement must:

1. Set out exactly how climate finance should be accessed and spent
2. Identify new sources of public and private finance
3. Establish a “fair shares” framework to mobilize the necessary financial flows and direct them to the right places

Oxfam’s calculation of country “fair shares” estimates that the US would be responsible for mobilizing 56% of financial flows to shift the world onto a low-carbon path during the first commitment period. Canada’s fair share would be 4.16%. When it comes to adaptation Oxfam identifies new countries that should become climate finance contributors including Russia, Brazil, the Republic of Korea and Mexico. Oxfam’s blueprint shows the level of specificity negotiators need to address in Lima and Paris to seal a deal.

Canada’s announced $300 million contribution last month to the Green Climate Fund is a step in the right direction but still falls short of its fair share, which would amount to $416 million according to Oxfam. 

Following the Ban Ki Moon Climate Summit and the Green Climate Fund pledging conference, COP 20 is the most significant negotiation before the Paris talks. Recent political announcements, including a deal between China and the US on promised emissions cuts have offered new political momentum to the negotiations.

“Climate finance should focus on what developing countries actually need” said Ravon. “For vulnerable communities, in particular rural women and smallholder farmers, the overwhelming and immediate priority is to adapt to the climate changes that are already underway. Canada should commit to allocating at least half of its climate financing to adaptation projects, and ensure that rural women are able to access these funds to help build resilience.”

Download Breaking the Standoff on Climate Finance: 
http://www.oxfam.ca/our-work/publications/breaking-standoff

For more information contact:
Katia Gianneschi
Media Relations
katia.gianneschi@oxfam.ca