WWF Backgrounder – Finance and Ambition (COP18) | WWF

WWF Backgrounder – Finance and Ambition (COP18)

Posted on
05 December 2012
Doha cannot be merely a “process COP”. The world doesn’t have time for another COP that fails to increase ambition in emissions cuts and financing for transforming economies to a low carbon path. The decisions to be taken here in Doha will have real impacts on our climate, communities, health and food supply for generations to come. The World Bank and UNEP have just produced reports that show the gap between current commitments and what is required, along with the dangerous consequences of not closing that gap. These reports should be a rallying cry for rapidly scaled up actions by negotiators here.

Doha must deliver a road map to deep emissions cuts between now and 2020, and lay the groundwork for much deeper cuts after 2020, as part of a new global agreement reached by 2015.

Here’s what is needed to close the gap between current emissions trends and what is required to stay well below two degrees:
  • Increased mitigation ambition across the board, led by developed countries whose current targets are now little different than business as usual, followed by increased ambition by developing countries, which requires financial and technological support from developed countries. We also need pledges of mitigation actions from those who have not yet announced them.
  • An ambitious road map to scaling up from fast start commitments to at least $100b in 2020, with at least $60 billion in public funds over the next three years, to invest in ways that leverages and mobilizes much greater investments in a low carbon climate resilient economy.
  • Other complementary and coordinated initiatives outside the UNFCCC, including carbon pricing for international transport under the ICAO and IMO, and actions of F-gases and black carbon.
Finance state of play:
Financing is essential to support developing countries in making the shift to low carbon economies and to adapt to the irreversible impacts of climate change. Developed countries have committed to mobilize $100 b per year by 2020, but there is as yet no certainty about how much finance will be delivered in 2013 and beyond until 2020. This week the UK took the first step and made an important commitment here in Doha to increase it’s financing by 50% over fast start financing levels, of $10 billion per year from 2010-2012. We need other developed countries to follow this lead.

What we need from Doha is an agreement from parties to at least double contributions of public financing for the period 2013-2015, and for more individual countries to step up with their own financing pledges. Until now most countries have given only vague assurances that funding won’t drop off a cliff.

Finance refuseniks: USA, Canada, Japan, New Zealand. These countries are refusing to make concrete commitments to scaled-up financing for the period of 2013 onward, and giving only vague assurances that they will continue giving some financing, while suggesting there will be much less public finance, but they want to count more private sector finance.

Potential finance leaders:
The EU countries have said they are willing to engage in the negotiations here towards agreement on a “pathway” to scaling up to meeting the $100 billion commitment by 2020. This will be helpful in providing certainty on levels, sources and types of financing. The UK has just committed to scaling up by 50% over fast start funding levels. A number of developed countries are rumoured to be considering some kind of financing commitment here, including several large European countries such as Germany.

Mitigation state of play:
The negotiations have thus far not delivered on mitigation ambition at all. The EU hopes to sign the Kyoto Protocol with a 20% target that they almost already achieved. Australia is putting 5% on the table while 25 to 40% are needed and Japan, Canada, Russia, New Zealand and of course the US are not even willing to take any commitment under a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol nor to take comparable steps forward on reducing emissions.

Furthermore under the Kyoto Protocol discussions on limiting the trade of surplus “Assigned Amount Units” are ongoing. Europe is deeply split on this issue because Poland is insisting on the full carry – over of their hot air into the second commitment period. Russia, even though they are refusing to sign on to a second commitment period of the KP, insists on keeping their AAUs for the second commitment period and even beyond. These ongoing discussions not only impacts on the environmental integrity of the Kyoto Protocol but will place the negotiations on the Protocol at risk as well. 

What is needed now is leadership by developed countries in raising their mitigation ambition and as well as providing certainty on finance for climate action in developing countries.


For more information please contact

Mandy Jean Woods mwoods@wwf.org.za / +27 82 553 4211 (please send SMS if urgent) @MandyJeanWoods
Samantha Smith ssmith@wwf.org.no  / @pandaclimate
Tasneem Essop  tesseop@wwf.org.za  / @TasneemEssop

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