On Wednesday, the main discussion at the Lima UN COP20 meeting on climate change centered on financing mitigation and adaptation. Delegates discussed these agenda actions:
- Standing committee report on Finance,
- Financing of technology,
- Progress of the Green Climate Fund, and
- Long-term climate finance.
Of the four, the Green Climate Fund caused the greatest excitement. At COP16 in Cancun, the parties formally established the fund in order to finance climate change–related activities in developing countries. It officially opened in South Korea last year at this time and was ready for contributions this spring. Said Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC head, at its onset:
The GCF will be a prime global channel to deliver public funds and to leverage private sector finance so that developing countries can build resilience against climate change and green their economies. There is now every reason to speedily mobilize the initial capitalization of the GCF, which should be at least $10 billion.
However, initial fundraising efforts were slow and disappointing. Late this year, though, the fund really took off and can now be considered a successful start to a long, expensive, and much-needed effort.
Contributions linked to the G20 meeting (including a $3 billion chunk from the US) bulked the fund well over halfway up to its $10 billion 2014 target. Since then, an official pledging push has nearly topped off the fund at $9.7 billion, with $150 million from Spain just three days before COP20 started—hardly a “failure,” as some conservative media have reported, especially since COP20 offers further opportunities to contribute, and the initial campaign still has a while to run.
In a couple of interactive meetings late in the morning, Green Climate Fund representatives discussed its current state of affairs and explained the type of projects the Fund could deliver in developing countries. The discussion was sullied a bit when news came out that Japan had used some pledged green money to help build a “clean” coal-fired power plant in Indonesia…. Over 250 NGOs wrote a letter to the board of the Green Climate Fund about this incident. Tao Wang, the fund’s director of mitigation and adaptation, nonetheless reported considerable progress and announced two milestones for 2015.
The CMP agenda included issues relating to the clean development mechanism, joint implementation, and increased ambition for the Kyoto Protocol commitments in the high-level talks to come next week. It also discussed reports from the compliance committee and adaptation board and the slow status of ratification of the Doha Amendment for the second installment of the Kyoto Protocol. Informal consultations took place all day within the SBSTA and SBI groups. The ADP held about five open meetings.