Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Vague stance on climate finance for poor countries

Salaheddine Mezouar, President of the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP 22)

While the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change stepped into an implementation phase via the COP22 conference held in Marrakech, Morocco last week, the burning issue of climate finance for poor countries remains an issue where common ground is yet to be found.

The Paris Agreement stipulated that developed countries need to come up with USD 100 billion a year by 2020 in climate finance for developing countries. But when it comes to discussion of actually mobilizing this finance for poor countries, talks were not fruitful. Although developed countries have once more agreed to follow through on the USD 100 billion objective, they have failed to give details on how they would do so.

Salaheddine Mezouar, President of the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP 22) underlined the need to have a clear implementation plan on climate finance saying “It will be necessary to respect the commitment of USD100 billion dollars from now until 2020. Faced with the magnitude of what is required for dealing with the impacts of climate change, turning billions into trillions is indispensable.  2017 must be the year of large scale projects, of mobilizing finance, and accessing financial facilities that will be necessary for adaptation.”

The means of implementation, including financing, has been a point of pressure and developed countries have been urged not to ignore their commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, which ends in 2020, now that the Paris Agreement had come into existence.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa says that for the continent, major issues related to finance include: How to ensure full implementation of existing Convention finance commitments and avoid shifting of responsibility towards the private sector or to developing countries under the new agreement; the need for a clear pathway for finance between now and 2020; and capitalization of the Green Climate Fund and easing access to the funds.

The decisions on how to account for the spending of the promised climate fund has been pushed back to 2018, disappointing many.

In their roadmap, the developed countries estimated that they had already mobilized an average of USD 41bn per year in 2013 and 2014.