Experts have called for a UN-based system to define baselines and monitor pledges and payments made by industrialized countries to help poor nations tackle climate change.
In a briefing paper published by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), key academics in climate change warned that the industrialized world’s promise of billions of “new and additional” dollars to help developing nations tackle climate change is meaningless without a baseline from which to count new funds.
Last December the industrialized nations committed to provide developing nations with US$30 billion of “new and additional” funding between 2010 and 2012, as well as US$100 billion per year by 2020.
But developing nations fear that to meet this promise, the developed countries will simply rename existing aid budgets or count previous pledges of climate finance.
The paper was written by Saleemul Huq, senior fellow in IIED’s climate change group; Martin Stadelmann, researcher at the Center for International and Comparative Studies in Switzerland; and J. Timmons Roberts, director of the Center for Environmental Studies at Brown University, United States.
“Funding from developed countries to help developing countries tackle climate change has the potential to re-build the lost trust between the two sets of countries — but only if it is done properly,” says Saleemul Huq. “Agreeing on baselines for assessing ‘new and additional’ climate funds is key,” he adds.
“When is a promise not a promise? When there’s no specified baseline that would allow anyone to know if the promise has been fulfilled. That’s the case with the Copenhagen Accord’s climate finance promise, and that’s why this issue needs immediate attention to get the negotiations back on track,” says co-author J. Timmons Roberts.
According to a press statement from the IIED, the paper will be formally launched on 5 June at a side event during the ongoing UN climate-change negotiations in Bonn.