Finances are the Glue that will make the Paris Agreement Stick

glue

Starting the second week of negotiations, the Climate Action Network’s held a press conference to discuss their view of the current “state of play” in the climate talks. Two themes clearly emerged; the need for a robust and certain climate Agreement to come out of Paris with clear targets and deadlines to send the correct signal to the industrial and business sector, and the financial support from developed countries to reach those targets and deadlines. What constitutes a robust agreement? Review of ambition goals coupled with a ratcheting mechanism to achieve a 1.5℃ target, resubmission of the INDCs, and setting the goal of 100% renewables and decarbonization by mid-century.

 

How do the Parties meet these targets and deadlines? By a robust finance mechanism. The INDCs can only be implemented if there is adequate financing that includes Loss & Damage. The billions pledged in Copenhagen and Cancun kept the developing country Parties at the table; now the call is to implement those mitigation and adaptation strategies to achieve decarbonization of the economy. This will come faster for some countries and slower for others depending upon their different capabilities. The collective financing proposed, which would include “all Parties in a position to do so”, is not the way to secure new financing. This, according to OxFam, is the equivalent of the developed countries “holding the money hostage on this issue.” The developing countries will contribute as they can, of course; but a vague reference too their obligation to do so has no place in the text.Money tree

 

What the developing Parties clearly articulated as a priority throughout last week’s negotiations, continues to threaten the stickiness of this Paris Agreement  – the provision of finances to enable those countries to put their INDCs into effect. The developing Parties have fastened onto the idea of traditional differentiation and are washing their hands of the language that all Parties will contribute if “they are in a position to do so”. They will only cement a deal that has clear markers for capacity to contribute and places those responsible [the global North] as the major financiers of the efforts to stem climate change.