Don’t Pass Climate Finance Back To Private Sector


Ministers meeting on climate finance in

Geneva this week should stick to financial commitments

made in Copenhagen to help developing countries reduce emissions and cope with climate change impacts.

While the Copenhagen climate conference ended with disappointingly little result, the Copenhagen Accord stipulated at least a set of concrete promises by different countries, including setting out levels of climate finance to be delivered by developed countries.

Ministers and representatives from more than 30 countries are gathering at the invitation of the Swiss and Mexican governments to discuss key climate finance issues in the lead-up to the next UN climate conference in Cancun, Mexico, from 29 November to 10 December 2010.

“By transparently mobilising public sector finance to meet the commitments made in Copenhagen, ministers can help set the scene for progress at climate talks in China and Mexico,” said Gordon Shepherd, Leader WWF Climate Initiative.

According to WWF, the private sector can and should play an important role, but if industrialized nations start counting private investments as a significant part of meeting their Copenhagen commitments, it is going to be seen by developing countries as an attempt to shirk their responsibilities..

“It is clear what Ministers need to do – the promises of the Copenhagen Accord exist and need to be kept if developing countries are to re-gain trust and engage in a wider global climate treaty,” said Shepherd.

In the short term (2010 to 2012), US$ 30bn were promised with a special focus on helping most vulnerable communities to adapt to climate change, while by 2020 developed countries promised to provide US$ 100bn annually.

However, there is little transparency on the delivery of the promised short term funding that has been made available already, and there has been little visible progress towards a framework for delivery on longer term funding commitments.

Public funding needs to be clearly identified even when leveraging private funding, WWF says. Private sector finance can contribute much of the investments needed in clean energy technologies, but public funding is critical for research and development, adaptation and resilience building, infrastructure and construction, as well as for leveraging much greater private sector investments.

WWF estimates that public funding at the level of USD 200 billion will be necessary by the year 2020 for adaptation