Creative thinking urgently needed to tap alternative sources of climate finance
Copenhagen - An agreement of $10bn a year in fast track financing for the next three years and $100bn a year by 2020 for poor countries to cope with climate change must come over and above existing aid promises, Africa advocacy group ONE said today. Currently these sums will largely be subtracted from promised resources to help these same countries fight poverty.
“Climate change is putting additional stress on poor countries – which is why they need additional funds to cope with it – on top of existing and promised aid levels,” said ONE’s Executive Director Jamie Drummond.
“Promises of aid made by the G8 in Gleneagles in 2005 must not be lost in Copenhagen. Without a clear commitment that these climate funds are additional, the dollar amounts are next to meaningless.
“This debate over ‘additionality’ might seem arcane, but within the details lie billions of dollars - and very real impacts on millions of lives,” Drummond said. “Without this additionality, Copenhagen adds up to nothing.
“It is not clear how a cap on two degrees will be achieved, but it is very clear that much more can and must be done, including harnessing the potential of African and other developing countries to be renewable energy hubs and help capture carbon through growing trees."
ONE supports the African proposal for an interim target of US$50bn by 2015 on top of existing and promised aid to help the poorest countries – many of them in Africa – with pressing adaptation needs. The “Copenhagen Accord” mentions a High Level Panel to assess how alternative sources of funding can contribute to raising genuinely additional funds.
ONE says this urgent High Level Task Force should be convened immediately and with links to the highest political level to look into alternative sources of climate finance to complement additional public funding from rich countries. These sources could include: revenue from aviation and shipping, international auctioning of emissions allowances, a financial transactions tax and the proposal to use the IMF’s own currency, known as Special Drawing Rights. ONE also highlighted the need for accountability and transparency for these new funds.
Notes to editors
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European Union countries have promised to spend 0.7% of national income on overseas development aid by 2015. President Obama has promised to double American assistance in the same time period.
ONE is a campaign and advocacy organisation co-founded by Bono and backed by more than two million members worldwide dedicated to combating extreme poverty and disease, especially in Africa. For more information go to www.one.org.
In the run up to the 2009 Copenhagen climate change meeting ONE members asked Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen to stop world leaders double counting money that is meant to help developing countries adapt to climate change. More