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Finance falling behind in Bangkok

By September 7, 2018 No Comments

Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth

Setting the Stage: Halfway through the Bangkok UNFCCC intersessional SB48-2, parties sat down to take stock of progress so far.
Key issue: The hot topic on the table was, you guessed it, finance. Reiterating the concerns raised by Egypt on behalf of the G77 + China earlier in the day, both Iran, Saudi-Arabia, India and the Maldives raised the dollar flag again during the joint stocktake of the SBSTA and SBI.
“Progress is called on from developed countries,” the representative of Iran said. “We have tried to engage constructively, however, developed countries have not engaged on finance issues.”
“We understand the informal formal setting is good opportunity to exchange views in a faster way, taking into a account the short time we have in this session.” However, he also noted, “we hope that parties start engaging in substantial discussions on the registry”
“It is clear that for us, within the LMDC, without any positive movement on finance, positive movement elsewhere in the Paris Rulebook will not be possible.”
In regards to global stocktake, Iran stated that the inclusion of equity as the context in which the GST will take place is a non-option. Equity must therefore be reflected in operational detail in the modalities for GST. It is also important that the GST process starts moving towards a clear identification and understanding of the practical aspects for the conduct of the GST, include finance.

India speaks up on finance: Similar comments were re-iterated by India, which called on for explicit commitments with new and additional finance and predictability of finance for developing countries. “Some interventions have highlighted that financial flows are on track,” the representative said, but how much of that claim entails the new and additional component is debatable.”
India called for the new finance goal for the 2020 period to be adopted before 2030 so it could fit into the global stocktake process and provide an indicative framework for developing countries to base their NDCs on. “There seems to be some resistance to these issues in discussion groups,” the representative said.
Mr. Ravis Prasad, who spoke on behalf of India at the joint stocktake, told Climate Tracker afterwards: “It is not about the number, the 100 billion USD, at least not mainly. The key task in Bangkok is to work out the modalities and regulations to have robust climate finance as part of Paris.”
“We are working on a Paris package, and many issues are heavily interlinked. So bogged-down discussions on finance are having an effect on the wider rulebook discussions.”
Global Stocktake: The main finance issue that needs to be resolved now according to Mr. Prasad is finance in the Global Stocktake. “It is the element of the Paris Agreement that will ensure financial commitments to be able to increase over time.”
The developing world is not helpless: Mr. Prasad made it very clear that India is taking big strides to take climate action, with our without sufficient climate finance from tdeveloped countries.
“We are very well aware that for any country in the world to take ambition climate action, climate finance will not be coming mainly, or only, from external financing.”
As is now widely understood, “India is making large investments to tackle climate change. Nonetheless, if we want the global community to take action, the financial mechanisms prescribed in the Paris Agreement need to be in place.”

Developed Country Pushback: While finance pledges have not been expected this week, a proposal made by Australia, Japan and the US was heavily criticised for its recommendation to weaken specific rules on how Developed country finance is accounted for.

Brandon Wu, director of policy and campaigns for ActionAid USA told Kelli Rogers at Devex that the proposal essentially says ‘countries should report what they want.’”

Earlier this year, Green groups in the US threatened to sue the government if it doesn’t comply with a requirement to the UN regarding its efforts to contribute finance to the UNFCCC.

Lily Jamaludin

About Lily Jamaludin

Lily Jamaludin is a Malaysian writer and researcher. Previously, she helped design education opportunities for stateless youth in Borneo, and assisted in eviction-prevention initiatives in the Bronx. She’s excited to mobilise more young writers from developing countries to influence national debate around climate change.