Tag Archives: green climate fund

The big fight in Doha is over climate finance

By Stephen Leahy, December 3 2012. Source: Inter Press Service

COP 18 president Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah addresses a roomful of young delegates. Photo: Sallie Shatz – Courtesy of COP 18

COP 18 president Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah addresses a roomful of young delegates. Photo: Sallie Shatz – Courtesy of COP 18

DOHA – The new Green Climate Fund to help developing countries cope with climate change may one day have a bigger budget than the World Bank. At the moment, however, the Fund is empty.

No financial pledges have been made even though the Fund is supposed to begin dispensing money in 2013.

“Finance is at the heart of negotiations here,” said Oxfam International climate change policy advisor Tim Gore on the sidelines of the UN climate change negotiations at the 18th meeting of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 18), taking place in the capital of Qatar until Dec. 7.

“The issue has come to a head in Doha. Developing countries are bitter and saying rich industrialised countries are once again failing to deliver on their promises,” Gore told Tierramérica. Continue reading

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Filed under Climate Change, Corporate Globalization, Doha/COP-18, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Green Economy, World Bank

Q&A with Patrick Bond: COP18, another ‘Conference of Polluters’

Note: Most people who are paying attention have pretty meager hopes for success in Doha.  In the interview below, Patrick Bond explains why Doha will certainly be one of many failures in the history of the UNFCCC ‘Conference of Polluters’.  From corporate influence to bribery and bullying by the US and World Bank, the odds are stacked against anyone hoping for real climate solutions this time around.  As Bond-a longtime friend and colleague of GJEP-alludes to in the interview, real solutions are going to come from the ability of social movements to overcome corporate tyranny.

-The GJEP Team

By Busani Bafana, November 27, 2012.  Source: Inter Press Service

Professor Patrick Bond

There is no political will among rich nations to find funding for developing countries experiencing the brunt of changes in global weather patterns, and the current climate change conference will fail to do so, according to Professor Patrick Bond, a leading thinker and analyst on climate change issues.

“The elites continue to discredit themselves at every opportunity. The only solution is to turn away from these destructive conferences and avoid giving the elites any legitimacy, and instead, to analyse and build the world climate justice movement and its alternatives,” Bond, a political economist and also the director of the Centre for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa, told IPS.

As the 18th Conference of the Parties (COP18) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) began in Doha, Qatar on Monday Nov. 26, Bond described past COPs as “conferences of polluters”. He believes COP18 will be no different.

“Qatar is an entirely appropriate host country for the next failed climate conference. On grounds of gender, race, class and social equity, environment, civil society voice and democracy, it’s a feudal zone, and the Arab world’s best mass media, Doha-based Al Jazeera, can’t tell the truth at home,” said the professor and author of the book, “Politics of Climate Justice”.
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Filed under Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Doha/COP-18, False Solutions to Climate Change, UNFCCC, World Bank

As UN’s Green Climate Fund finally meets, funding remains uncertain

By Carey L. Biron, Aug 21 2012. Source: IPS

WASHINGTON – Five months behind schedule, the board of the newest and largest international financing mechanism aimed at dealing with the effects of climate change, the Green Climate Fund, is finally slated to meet this week, just ahead of a late-summer deadline.

On Monday, however, insiders admitted that funding plans for the ambitious initiative – 100 billion dollars a year after 2020, in addition to dealing with a massive shortfall until then – remain unclear.

“We are expecting no serious discussion about the 100 billion dollars at this meeting,” Omar El-Arini, an Egyptian member of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board, told journalists Monday, speaking from Geneva.

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Durban Outcomes: Developed world failing on climate funds pledge

Bangladeshi minister  Dipu Moni criticises ‘dismal’ efforts to deliver billions of pounds in aid to help poorer countries cope with environmental change

, environment correspondent

Cross-Posted from The Guardian UK

A house in south Bangladesh after cyclone Aila in 2009

Floods in southern Bangladesh after cyclone Aila in 2009: as a result of its low-lying lands and reliance on agriculture, the country is particularly vulnerable to climate change. Photograph: Munir Uz Zaman/AFP/Getty Images

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Efforts by developed countries to redistribute promised funds to help poorer parts of the world avoid environmental disasters have been described as “dismal” by the foreign minister of Bangladesh.

Dipu Moni said wealthier nations must begin immediately delivering the billions of pounds’ worth of aid they have earmarked for climate change projects. “Our achievements – social, economic, environmental – of the past decades will be reversed if [rich countries] take away the funds promised for adapting to climate change,” she said in an interview. “The disbursement of the financing has been dismal so far. We are not seeing the funds.”

A total of $30bn has been promised by the end of this year but, after three years of delays in channelling promised money, only $2.4bn has been made available.

Moni said the world’s most vulnerable countries were being “marginalised”, even while the danger of disasters related to global warming was increasing rapidly. Bangladesh is among the countries most at risk from climate change, and its low-lying lands and agriculture-dependent people are already frequently prey to devastating floods and storm surges.

She said it was essential for developed countries to make good on their funding promises if their commitments made at recent UN climate change talks in Durbanwere to be believed: “This is the litmus test for the big emitters, the developed countries, the test of whether they mean it.”

Smaller developing countries, such as Bangladesh, could no longer be expected simply to follow the lead of ChinaIndia and other rapidly emerging big economies in the climate change negotiations. In a distinction that will reverberate through world capitals as leading nations discuss the next steps towards a legally binding global agreement on climate change, Moni insisted Bangladesh and similar nations would forge their own path, independently of the lead given by countries such as China, India, Brazil and South Africa.

Her stance heralds the fracturing of the broad coalition of developing countries that China has spent more than a decade building up.

For 20 years of the talks, the main division within international climate negotiations has been between industrialised nations and developing countries. But in the last three years, culminating in a dramatic all-night session in Durban, it has become increasingly clear that the interests of major developing economies have been diverging rapidly from those of the least developed countries and other smaller poor nations.

Keeping up the impression of a united front among developing countries has been key to the strategy of China and, to a lesser extent, India in wringing concessions from richer nations. But Dr Moni made it clear that the interests of China in climate change talks would not be allowed to override the self-interest of smaller developing countries in the future. China is now the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases overall, and on course to take the European Union‘s place as the second biggest emitter per head of population within the next five to eight years.

“We have been lumped along with big emitters in the same category [as other developing countries that are much bigger economies],” Moni said. “But we and the most vulnerable countries and the least developed countries should be in a different category. India and China have their development challenges, but we are not big emitters so our challenges and demands are different.”

The faultlines between China and India and most of the rest of the world’s developing countries were evident at the Durban talks in early December. The fortnight-long talks were scheduled to end on a Friday night, but they entered a second unscheduled all-night session in the early hours of the Sunday morning. In the final hours, it became clear that the EU had the support of most developing countries in pushing for a mandate to start a negotiations that should lead to a new global climate change treaty. Such a treaty would bind both rich and poor countries to curb greenhouse gas emissions from 2020 onwards, after current voluntary and non-binding commitments run out.

The only holdouts in the final minutes of the Durban talks were China and India, which vociferously opposed having to take on legally binding commitments on greenhouse gases, which in the past 20 years only historically industrialised countries have had to shoulder. In the end, the EU compromised on the wording of the legal commitment,and a deal was forged among all countries – rich and poor – to draw up by 2015 a new global agreement on cutting emissions that would come into force in 2020.

First, however, said Moni, rich countries must make good on their well-publicised commitments to provide finance to vulnerable nations. Unless the remainder of the promised $30bn is rapidly made available, poor countries could be severely disadvantaged and made more vulnerable to the impact of potential disasters such as storms and floods, she said.

“[Developing] countries are having to make all the difficult choices [about adapting their infrastructure to cope with climate change], and these are also very expensive choices. We are vulnerable countries, and we are being marginalised,” she said.

Dr Moni emphasised that poor countries were already taking many steps to protect themselves, and investing in research and development that would help them cut greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to global warming. For instance, she pointed to Bangladesh’s efforts to develop crops resistant to salinity, which could be vital in protecting agriculture from the increasing threat of rising sea levels.

But these efforts would be greatly boosted if the funds promised were released, she said. “We have to make these investments now,” she said.

Green technologies such as solar power remained too expensive for small developing countries, Moni added. “For us, it’s hugely expensive and that has to be understood by the west.”

Under one of the schemes intended to help poor countries, called the clean development mechanism – the handing out of saleable carbon credits for projects that cut emissions – Dr Moni said that big developing countries such as China and India were “taking the money” available, while the most vulnerable countries were losing out because “they do not have the capacity to come up with attractive projects”.

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Farmers Condemn the Durban Platform: Sustainable peasant agriculture is the genuine solution to climate change

(Jakarta, 16 December 2011) La Via Campesina, the global movement of peasants, small-scale and agricultural family farmers, denounces the attempts of the largest carbon emitters to further escape their historic responsibility to make real emission cuts and push for more false and market based solutions to the climate crisis. This Durban Platform, the latest climate deal struck at the UNFCCC 17th Conference of Parties in Durban, allows the polluters to get away with even more polluting while securing their market mechanisms.

The UNFCCC has hailed the Durban Platform as a breakthrough and a way forward in the fight against climate change. But what is there to hail as closer inspection shows that there are no commitments for real emission cuts from the developed countries. Others have said this was a success as it saved the Kyoto Protocol but in fact, the only thing that was saved are the market mechanisms of the Protocol. The second commitment period was not agreed and in fact postponed to next year but all the while, secured that market mechanisms would continue to be operational. The Green Climate Fund, which will be controlled by the World Bank if ever funded by industrialized countries (clearly unconcerned about their historical debt with the global south), is likely to be a source of financing false solutions in the most impacted countries.

Most disturbing of all from Durban is the opening of the doors for agriculture to be included in the carbon markets. Agriculture, which has since recently, not been included in the negotiations, will now be discussed in subsequent negotiations and the writing on the wall tells us that these would be the initial steps for agriculture to be included in carbon markets. The proliferation of side events on “climate smart agriculture” promoted by the agro-industry showed the high agribusiness interest to tap this new bonanza. La Via Campesina strongly denounces this move and reiterates its call to keep agriculture out of carbon markets as agriculture should not be treated as a mere carbon sink and that carbon accounting should not determine agricultural policy.

Peasant based agro-ecological agriculture, what La Via Campesina continues to promote and practice through its members in several countries around the world, is the best way to cool down the planet. La Via Campesina promotes peasant agriculture as the way to feed people with healthy food and at the same time to guarantee a balance in the ecosystem and the farms. The logic of carbon markets and trading run counter to the system of agroecology and should not be allowed to enter into agriculture.

We are now at the worst moment for agriculture, small farmers and for nature. The impacts of climate change are steadily worsening, leading to harvest failures, destruction of habitats and homes, hunger and famine and loss of lives. The future of humanity and the planet is in critical danger and if these false solutions push through, it will be a catastrophe for nature, future generations and the whole planet.

Now, more than ever, it is even more urgent for the demands and proposals from the Cochabamba people’s agreement to be pushed forward.

Read La Via’s declaration: La Via Campesina Declaration in Durban

See video coverage in English, in the following links:

Elizabet Mpofu: Not One Step Back

Chavannes Jean-Baptiste: Agribusiness is the Problem

La Via Campesina takes part in the Global Day of Action

Thousands March at U.N. Climate Summit in Durban to Demand Climate Justice

Vea vídeos sobre La Vía Campesina en Durban, en español/portugués:

Vídeo: Campesinos llegan a Durban a reclamar por cambio climático

Alberto Gomez en Durban: Tenemos que estar

A Via Campesina no Dia de Ação Global pela Justiça Climática


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Filed under Biodiversity, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Cochabamba, Corporate Globalization, Durban/COP-17, False Solutions to Climate Change, Food Sovereignty, Green Economy, Videos

Video: World Bank Out of Climate Finance at COP17

Note: From our good friends and colleagues at GEAR–Global Economic Accountability Research.-The GJEP Team

On Dec 1, 2011 an international coalition called World Bank Out of Climate Finance held a rally and speak out at the OccupyCOP17 spaced during the UNFCCC COP17 negotiations. Currently the World Bank is named trustee of the Green Climate Fund and appears to be jockeying for long term control of the fund.

Activist point to WB’s historical of funding massive extraction projects and its support of dirty energy industry as key reasons WB should be kept away from climate finance.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Corporate Globalization, Durban/COP-17, Politics, Videos