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Belize accepts the chairmanship of AOSIS

In the Photo: H.E. Ambassador Lois Young, Permanent Representative of Belize to the UN in New York; H.E. Mr. Hussain Rasheed Hassan Minister of Environment Ministry of Environment; Mr. Amjad Abdulla Director-General / Chief Negotiator for AOSIS Climate Change Department Ministry of Environment and Energy

The following statement by Belize was delivered at a Ministerial Meeting of AOSIS during a short ceremony on the occasion of the 24th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to mark Belize’s acceptance of the chairmanship of AOSIS from the Maldives in January 2019. Belize will hold the chairmanship for two years to be followed by Antigua and Barbuda in 2021.

“Good evening distinguishing delegates, colleagues.   I am delivering this statement on behalf of the Vice Minister of Belize who had to leave early because of another pressing engagement.

On this occasion I wish to extend sincere thanks to the Maldives for steering our group over the course of their Chairmanship, for their leadership and support.  I extend congratulations from my Ministry and from the Government of Belize.

Colleagues of AOSIS, Belize accepts the first half of the incoming Chairmanship of AOSIS with a profound recognition of the challenges ahead.  Acknowledging and building on the work put in by the Maldives over the past four years and that of the Republic of Nauru before that, and supported by all member nations, and relying on the sound expertise and innovative ideas of our collective body of experts. Belize intends to advance the work of AOSIS over the next two years, with a renewed focus on structure and support for member parties.  Advancing the work to achieve the sustainable development goals will be a major focus over the next two years.  Also of paramount importance is the unity of AOSIS which must be preserved.

Ahead of us lies a great challenge, predicated by the distraction of parties backing out of the Paris Agreement and others unwilling to accept the latest science of a world at 1.5 degrees.  The best science of the latest IPCC report is sound and yes it is alarming, but all parties must respect and accept it, and seek common ground to come to terms with the implications of it.

As those among the most vulnerable and those already suffering the impacts, Belize and the Caribbean region stands ready to push ahead the work of AOSIS.  We look forward to your continued support.

Thank you.”

Finance for Climate Action Flowing Globally – Upwards of 650B in 2011-2012

Header Image

Credit: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

 Finance for Climate Action Flowing Globally stood at $650 Billion annually in 2011-2012, and possibly higher
Annual public and private flows from developed to developing countries
 ranged from $40 to $175 billion
Dedicated multilateral climate funds - including UNFCCC funds – represented small shares during the same period, but are set to rise with the recent pledges to the Green Climate Fund
 amounting to nearly $10 billion
There is relative uncertainty in the global figures in part due to data gaps and other limitations, but efforts to improve the quality of measurement and reporting of climate finance flows are under way

Hundreds of billions of dollars of climate finance may now be flowing across the globe annually according to a landmark assessment presented yesterday to governments meeting in Lima, Peru at the UN Climate Convention meeting.

The assessment – which includes a summary and recommendations by the UNFCCC Standing Committee on Finance and a technical report by experts – is the first of assessment reports that puts together information and data on financial flows supporting emission reductions and adaptation within countries and via international support.

The assessment puts the lower range of global total climate finance flows at $340 billion a year for the period 2011-2012, with the upper end at $650 billion, and possibly higher.

  • Support from developed countries to developing countries amounted to between $35 and $50 billion annually, with multilateral development banks (MDBs), climate-related Official development Assistance (ODA) and other official flows (OOF) representing significant shares of resources channelled through public institutions.
  • Funding through dedicated multilateral climate funds – including UNFCCC funds ($ 0,6 billion) – represented smaller shares during the same period, and do not include the recent pledges for the Green Climate Fund amounting to nearly $10 billion.

The assessment notes that the exact amounts of global totals could be higher due to the complexity of defining climate finance, the myriad of ways in which governments and organizations channel funding, and data gaps and limitations – particularly for adaptation and energy efficiency.

In addition, the assessment attributes different levels of confidence to different sub-flows, with data on global total climate flows being relatively uncertain, in part due to the fact that most data reflect finance commitments rather than disbursements, and the associated definitional issues.

The assessment is an important contribution of the Standing Committee on Finance that enhances transparency and clarity on climate finance flows – including information on international support to developing countries.

In addition, the assessment includes a set of recommendations by the Standing Committee on Finance to the Conference of the Parties, which, among other things, include ways to strengthen transparency and accuracy of information on climate finance flows through working towards a definition of climate finance and further efforts that would enable better measurement, reporting and verification.

The assessment also recognizes the need for understanding the impacts of climate finance associated with emissions reductions and activities to boost resilience to climate change.

The 2014 Biennial Assessment and Overview of Climate Finance Flows has been prepared by the Standing Committee on Finance following a mandate by the Conference of the Parties. The 2014 report was prepared with input from a wide range of experts and contributing organizations that collect data on climate finance flows.

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, said: “Finance will be a crucial key for achieving the internationally-agreed goal of keeping a global temperature rise under 2 degrees C and sparing people and the planet from dangerous climate change”.

“Understanding how much is flowing from public and private sources, how much is leveraging further investments and how much is getting to vulnerable countries and communities including for adaptation is not easy, but vital for ensuring we are adequately financing a global transformation,” she said.

“I would like to thank the Standing Committee on Finance and the numerous experts and organizations who have contributed to this important assessment. It provides a baseline and a foundation upon which future assessments and more importantly future climate action can be refined and focused,” said Ms. Figueres.

“This first biennial assessment represents a milestone of the work of the Standing Committee on Finance. It is an important information tool for Parties to the Convention that provides a picture of climate finance flows and how they relate to climate actions, including the objectives of the Convention” said Standing Committee on Finance co-chairs Diann Black Layne and Stefan Schwager.

“Going forward, the Standing Committee on Finance will contribute further to improvements in the information on climate finance flows, including through collaborations with data collectors and aggregators,” they added.

More Facts and Figures from the 2014 Biennial Assessment and Overview of Climate Finance Flows Report:

  • Global total flows: Most climate finance in 2011/2012 is raised and spent at home–in developed countries 80 per cent of the funds deployed for climate action are raised domestically.
  • The same pattern is seen in developing countries where just over 71 per cent comes from national sources
  • Around 95 per cent of global total climate finance is spent on mitigation or cutting emissions with 5 per cent on adaptation.
  • Subsidies for oil and gas and investments in fossil fuel-fired generation are almost double the global finance for addressing climate change
  • Flows from developed to developing countries: Multiple sources were involved in providing funding to support climate action in developing countries ranging from Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) to multilateral climate funds – including funds administered by the Operating Entities of the Financial Mechanism of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol.
  • For example, finance from MDBs is around between $15 and $23 billion annually; multilateral climate funds including via the GEF were about $1.5 billion, including those linked to the UNFCCC at about $0.6 billion a year.
  • 48 to 78 per cent of finance is reported as fast-start finance (2010-2012), in Biennial Reports (2011-2012), through multilateral climate funds, and through MDBs supports mitigation, or other/multiple objectives (6 to 41 per cent)
  • Adaptation finance in the same sources ranges from 11 per cent to 24 per cent.

Notes to Editors

The assessment has tried to identify the flows to various sectors and initiatives–real precision in this area will have to await future assessments and the numbers need to be treated with caution.

Adaptation Investments Unclear

Assessing investments in adaptation is particularly difficult often because they can form part of a larger project such as an investment in a port of water supply system.

Meanwhile, there is also no universal operational definition of what constitutes adaptation and in addition publicly funded adaptation actions within countries–both developed and developing–is rarely reported or available.

As a result, flows from developed to developing countries are not really known with precision.

The biennial assessment and overview of climate finance flows can be found on the UNFCCC website.

About the UNFCCC

With 196 Parties, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol has been ratified by 192 of the UNFCCC Parties. For the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, 37 States, consisting of highly industrialized countries and countries undergoing the process of transition to a market economy, have legally binding emission limitation and reduction commitments. In Doha in 2012, the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol adopted an amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, which establishes the second commitment period under the Protocol. The ultimate objective of both treaties is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.

Credit: UNFCCC Press page

Follow UNFCCC on Twitter: @UN_ClimateTalks
UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres on Twitter: @CFigueres
UNFCCC on Facebook: facebook.com/UNclimatechange

Post-COP 19 Round-up: Six outcomes welcomed by the Caribbean

(Left to Right) Selwin Hart, Dr. Kenrick Leslie, Dr. Ulric Trotz

(Left to Right) Selwin Hart, Dr. Kenrick Leslie, Dr. Ulric Trotz

Caribbean Climate released a widely reviewed post called COP 19 – Five things the Caribbean anticipates in the lead up to the 19th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 19) to the UNFCCC and the ninth session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. Several decisions were taken at the event in Warsaw, Poland that are of particular relevance and importance to the Caribbean.

  • The region successfully lobbied for the establishment of a Loss and Damage Mechanism.
    The Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage consists of an Executive Committee, which will develop the modalities to assist developing countries that suffer loss and damage from extreme events and slow onset events precipitated by climate change. While it does not explicitly mention a compensation mechanism as demanded by vulnerable countries, it does not prohibit the Executive Committee from discussing it. The Mechanism has been established under the Cancun Adaptation Framework even though the position of the Caribbean is that loss and damage goes beyond what can be accomplished through adaptation.
  • Agreement reached to reduce emissions from the forest sector in developing countries. Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States of America pledged US$280 million to support these actions. This will be of particular relevance to CARICOM countries such as Belize, Guyana and Suriname.
  • The Adaptation Fund Board (AFB) reached its target of mobilizing US$100 million to fund the six projects in its pipeline. These include a project in Belize, which had been submitted by PACT, one of only two National Implementing Entities (NIE) in the Caribbean accredited to the Adaptation Fund. The other NIE is in Jamaica, which has also received funding for its project.
  • The Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) is now fully operational. This follows the COP's adoption of CTCN's modalities and procedures. Starting December 8, 2013, Caribbean countries can submit their technology requests to the CTCN, which is hosted by UNEP's Danish office.
  • The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has been operationalized. Developed countries have been asked to channel a significant portion of their US$100 billion per annum pledge for climate change though the GCF.  The Board of the GCF has been tasked with ensuring that there is an equitable balance of funding for both adaptation and mitigation. All developing countries are eligible for funding from the GCF.
  • Parties to the Convention agreed to continue to work towards establishing a new legally binding climate change agreement by 2015.  This would be achieved through the convening of a high-level Ministerial dialogue in June next year to increase the mitigation pledges by developed countries and the summit to be convened by the Secretary General of the UN in September 2014. A draft negotiating text should be available at COP 20 next year to enable Parties to finalize the agreement in Paris at COP 21 in December 2015.

We welcome these developments and will continue to advance the region’s interest.

Also read: COP 19 – Five things the Caribbean anticipates

COP 19 – Five things the Caribbean anticipates

The 19th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 19) to the UNFCCC and the ninth session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol will take place next week (November 11-22). The conference will be held at the National Stadium in Warsaw, Poland.

 Five possible outcomes that will benefit the Caribbean:
  • COP 19 is billed by many as the "Finance COP". A Ministerial high level segment will address issues on long term financing for developing countries. A pathway detailing how donor countries will honour the US$100 billion a year by 2020 pledge made at the 2009 U.N summit in Copenhagen, accompanied by interim targets and a private sector engagement plan would benefit the region.

Currently, there’s no specific date for donor pledges to begin, but developing countries have already contributed a majority of emissions reductions even without promised support from developed countries.

  • Operationalization of REDD+ activities. The region's heavily forested countries, particularly Belize and Guyana, are facing increased deforestation and would benefit from comprehensive programmes aimed at addressing this problem.
  • Raise mitigation ambition. The development of a road map to use the Ministerial summit scheduled for next year to increase the level of mitigation ambition, specifically cutting emissions substantially to limit global warming to 2°C.
  • Establish Loss and Damage Mechanism. A decision to establish such a mechanism would allow for the provision of compensation to countries that have suffered and will continue to suffer irreparable damage and loss due to climate change.
  • Draft the new CCA.  A significant shift from general discussions to the drafting stage for the new climate change agreement (CCA), the successor to Kyoto, would advance the likelihood that the negotiating text can be produced by the end of 2014 and ultimately allow for copious perusal and discussion.

Under Decision 1/COP.17, the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) was given the  ambitious mandate: first, to deliver by 2015 a new international climate change agreement that brings all Parties together in taking action on climate change, and second, to undertake essential work on enhancing pre-2020 mitigation ambition. Success depends on all Parties and the Co-Chairs of the ADP working together to make the best use of the time available, guided by a clear plan of work.

**Bookmark this page for regular updates from the 5Cs’s delegation at COP 17.

“The urgency and seriousness of Climate Change calls for ambition in financing adaptation and mitigation”, says Dr. Kenrick Leslie, CBE

Executive Director Dr. Kenrick Leslie, CBE

Executive Director Dr. Kenrick Leslie, CBE

“The urgency and seriousness of Climate Change calls for ambition in financing adaptation and mitigation”, according to Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre Dr. Kenrick Leslie, CBE. He adds that this urgency is longstanding as it was recognized over two decades ago at the Rio Convention.

Speaking at the recently concluded (July 15-16) Caribbean Regional Workshop on Climate Change Finance and the Green Climate Fund in Barbados, Dr. Leslie noted that at that watershed convention countries agreed that:

  • Developed countries would curb consumption and production patterns
  • Developing countries would maintain development goals but take on sustainable development approaches
  • Developed countries would support developing countries through finance, technology transfer and reforms to the global economic and financial structures

 Dr. Leslie notes that even with these longstanding commitments progress has been limited.

Despite continued intergovernmental processes, there has been little implementation of the agreements. At the time a pledge to commit 0.7% of national income to international aid was made. This pledge has only been met by five countries and where given, aid is unpredictable and poorly targeted and/or administered.

The two day regional workshop at which Dr. Leslie spoke primarily sought to review the various financial mechanisms, including the Green Climate Fund, available to developing countries— specifically Caribbean Community member countries.

Developed countries pledged to provide new and additional resources, including forestry and investments, approaching US$30 billion for the period 2010 – 2012 and with balanced allocation between mitigation and adaptation. This collective commitment made at the Conference of the Parties (COP15) in December 2009 in Copenhagen is known as ‘fast-start finance’.

 The Fast Start Funds:
  1.   New and additional resources
  2. US$30 billion annually through 2013
  3.  Increasing to 100 billion by 2020

Unfortunately neither of the first two commitments has been accomplished

 Following up on this pledge, the Conference of the Parties in Cancún, in December 2010, took note of this collective commitment by developed country Parties and reaffirmed that funding for adaptation will be prioritized for the most vulnerable developing countries, such as the least developed countries, small island developing States and Africa, said Dr. Leslie.

 What’s the Green Fund?

The Green Fund is the most recent of the Climate Change-related Funds now being developed for operational implementation in the near future. The Fund seeks to make a significant and ambitious contribution to the global efforts towards attaining the goals set by the international community to combat climate change.

It is the expectation that this fund, unlike the other funds, will be better administered with an improved governance structure and will contribute to the achievement of the ultimate objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In the context of sustainable development, it is the expectation that the Fund will promote the paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways by providing support to developing countries, such as Members of the Caribbean Community, to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change, taking into account the needs of those developing countries particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. The importance of this last statement is highlighted in the latest report (Turn Down the Heat) from the World Bank on Climate Change

Review Dr. Leslie’s speech here. Learn more about Turn Down the Heat.

Also read: Dr. Ulric Trotz says the Caribbean lags in climate finance

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