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Australia to Pony Up for Climate Finance at Cancun Conference

October 15, 2010

World leaders will again soon be meeting to attempt to settle a global agreement on climate change at the UNFCCC meeting in Cancun (Mexico).  At that meeting, funding provisions from developed countries will be a key point of interest. 

Australia has committed over $500m in ‘fast-start’ financing under it’s commitment to the Copenhagen Accord.  Previously, we have examined in some detail the extent and nature of funding obligations and possible means of funding those obligations

The World Resources Institute (WRI) has compiled a status report of Annex 1 (OECD) funding commitments.  By way of background, it explains:

The Copenhagen Accord commits developed countries to collectively provide resources “approaching USD 30 billion for the period 2010 – 2012” to support developing countries’ climate efforts. This so-called “fast-start” finance will help developing countries, particularly the poorest and most vulnerable, mitigate (reduce) their greenhouse gas emissions, and adapt and cope with the effects of climate change. These pledges also present an opportunity to build trust between developed and developing countries in the international climate arena, in turn fostering progress towards a comprehensive post-2012 international climate agreement.

The WRI estimates that of the $30bn commitment, pledges have been made for about $27 billion. 

However, as Andrew Steer (Special Envoy Climate Change at the World Bank) recently notes on a World Bank blog ‘Money Matters, In Tianjin, Washington, and Addis Ababa’, there is a world of difference between policy pledges, and writing the cheques.

The WRI provides detail on Australia’s commitment, as follows (click to enlarge):

Source: World Resources Institute

Will Australia commit to their pledge, and ‘sign over’ the funds? 

A list of those countries willing to commit to their pledges transparently has been developed, intitiated and led by the Government of the Netherlands.  The list includes 11 countries.  Australia is not yet on the list.

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