Gordon Brown has announced possibly the single most important proposal on Climate Change Adaptation to date.
He went to London Zoo towards the end of June to announce a bold proposal for global funding. [ Why the Zoo ? Something to do with political overtones or biodiversity ? ]
What was heralded with praise and aplomb on that day has now been unpacked as containing some “fake” accounting, in terms of the British publicly funded contribution : funds being merely swapped from budget line to budget line.
Plus, part of the proposed funding is expected from the global Carbon Trade markets, and as we’ve seen so far from the European Trading Scheme, it is by no means certain that this will work as expected.
It might turn out to be not quite the goodie bag that Gordon Brown made out. If so, that’s a real shame, because this was meritable move.
“By Geoffrey Lean : Published: 7:00AM BST 27 Jun 2009 : Gordon Brown wants to lead the world on climate change : In a landmark speech in London the Prime Minister publically broke with the position of other developed countries by proposing that they provide “around 100 billion dollars” (£60bn) a year to help developing nations combat climate change and adapt to its effects. It would be used to help fund their measures both to reduce their emissions of the pollution that causes global warming and to defend themselves against the consequences of increasing temperatures and rising seas. Such financial aid is one of the key Third World demands in the negotiations, but until now no rich country has been prepared to make a concrete response…”
“The UK is already spending over £800m in the current spending period on low carbon and climate resilient development. But it has to be said that the UN negotiations on the arrangements for financial assistance in the post-2012 agreement are not moving at the pace we need. Today I want to make a proposal which I hope may advance the discussion among both developed and developing countries and help us move forward towards agreement in Copenhagen. Finance is needed for adaptation, for technological assistance, for forestry and for capacity building. The private sector has a crucial role to play. By incentivising investment in energy efficiency, in low carbon energy production and in the reduction of industrial and transport emissions, the carbon market can facilitate the scaling up of financial flows for mitigation and technology transfer to developing countries…If we are to achieve an agreement in Copenhagen I believe we must move the debate from a stand-off over hypothetical figures to active negotiation on real mitigation actions and real contributions; and an urgent recognition of the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable countries for adaptation finance. So today I propose we take a working figure for this purpose of around $100 billion per annum by 2020. I believe the mechanisms I have set out are capable of raising at least this sum – and it is a credible number against which countries can develop their plans. It would come, as I have set out, from a combination of the carbon market, new and additional sources of predictable finance and a limited amount of development aid. And while the figure of $100 billion would be for 2020, funds would need to become available from 2013. On this basis I would urge the leading developing countries to bring forward ambitious and concrete propositions for mitigation actions that could be financed by these sources. I would propose that a substantial proportion of the public finance should be earmarked for adaptation for the poorest and most vulnerable countries…”
“Tories may sacrifice Africa to fund climate change fight : Warning from campaigners over Conservative plans to rethink Britain’s aid budget : By Andrew Grice, Political Editor and Michael Savage : Friday, 10 July 2009 : The Tories’ green paper, which will be launched on Monday by David Cameron, will reiterate the party’s pledge to match Labour’s commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of national income on aid by 2013. Aid and National Health Service budgets are the only two budgets which would be protected by an incoming Cameron Government as it sought deep public spending cuts to balance the nation’s books…But the promise on aid has been called into question, with suspicions that the party plans to funnel funds away from aid towards spending to fight global warming. The Tory paper says: “Action to tackle and adapt to climate change will permeate international development policy under a Conservative Government. It requires a multi-faceted approach. We will mainstream adaptation to the impacts of climate change throughout DFID’s work by supporting development activities that reflect the changing nature of the climate.”…Pressure groups are deeply concerned about the “mainstreaming” policy because the document makes no mention of a ceiling on how much of the DFID budget could be spent on climate change. Gordon Brown has promised a 10 per cent cap if Labour retains power. He has proposed a £100bn climate change adaptation fund as part of the negotiations on a new global deal to be discussed at a summit in Copenhagen in December. There has been persistent speculation in Tory circles that the party would try to spend less on helping the world’s poorest countries…”
“Gordon Brown in his element at G8 summit as Tories face the heat : PM heads home on a high note but aid agencies cast doubt on progress made in L’Aquila : Larry Elliott and Patrick Wintour in L’Aquila : guardian.co.uk, Friday 10 July 2009 23.43 BST : [
Gordon Brown and other world leaders at the G8 in L’Aquila, where the prime minister pressed his counterparts for $100bn annual fund to fight climate change. ] : For Gordon Brown, it was his best week since he hosted the London G20 summit three months ago. Then, the honeymoon was cut brutally short by the scandal involving his special adviser, Damian McBride. This time, Brown’s summit in the earthquake city of L’Aquila was made all the sweeter by news from home that it was a Tory spin doctor, Andy Coulson, who was in hot water…With the months ticking away to the Copenhagen summit in December, it was climate change that took up most time in L’Aquila. That negotiation is going to be the biggest test of world leaders’ ability to turn good intentions into hard reality, and almost create a unprecedented form of world governance. The negotiation involves an elaborate diplomatic dance, with the developing nations – Brazil, Mexico, India, China and South Africa – refusing to spell out future commitments until they have seen the kind of pledges that the G8 nations, especially the US, will make, both in terms of funding green technology in developing nations and in making hard commitments to specific carbon reduction targets by 2020. At the moment the two sides are far apart…But progress will depend on the extent to which funding is provided by the rich countries. Here Brown has been ahead of his colleagues by proposing a $100bn-a-year fund. Brown came late to climate change, but now seems fully engaged. Advisers will also be telling him that political mileage exists on the issue, in that Tory Euroscepticism mangles David Cameron’s green credentials…”
“Britain accused of ‘double counting’ over climate aid to Bangladesh : £60m fund promised for sea defences and farmland protection will not be new money but come from existing aid budgets : David Adam and John Vidal : guardian.co.uk, Monday 13 July 2009 12.14 BST : A flagship British government fund to help victims of global warming in Bangladesh will break a pledge to supply climate funds on top of existing overseas aid, the Guardian has learned. The £60m promised by the government to help the country protect its people from rising sea levels will have to be found from existing budgets inside the Department for International Development (Dfid). The Guardian has also discovered that several million pounds will never reach its intended recipients; instead it will go to the World Bank, which will administer the fund. Leaked documents show that $8m (£4.9m) will be “executed by the World Bank, as administrator”. The bank needs the money to cover the costs of administration, project appraisal and capacity building, as well as a management team in the bank’s office in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, says the document. The disclosure comes after a speech last month by Gordon Brown in which he called on rich countries to hand over up to $100bn each year to help the developing world cope with climate change. Brown stressed that such funding should be on top of development spending. He said the UK would contribute its “fair share to climate financing separately from and additional to our promises on aid”. Green and development campaigners had praised the commitment to provide extra funds. Separately, Britain and other rich countries have pledged to raise overseas development aid (ODA) to 0.7% of GDP. The issue of climate finance is key to the chances of a new global treaty on global warming being agreed at crucial UN talks in Copenhagen in December. China and other developing nations have asked for 1% of GDP from rich countries in the form of climate aid, in exchange for their involvement in such a deal. British officials privately dismiss the figure as unrealistic. Sources in the Bangladesh government said they were “concerned” by Britain’s move on the so-called Multi-Donor Trust Fund for Climate Change (MDTF) because they had expected the cash to be additional. “We expected this [climate change aid] to be free of the commitments the UK has already made,” one said. “The UK is very good at double counting. Although the money is new in the sense that this is the first time that money has been allocated for climate change, it’s not new aid money,” said Saleemul Huq, senior fellow at the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development. Development charities said they were unhappy about the role of the World Bank in the multi-donor fund. Daleep Mukarji, director of Christian Aid, said he was “appalled by the prospect of the World Bank diverting more than $8m from a fund created to help Bangladesh”. He said: “The money is urgently needed by poor people struggling with devastating cyclones, flooding and rising sea levels. For it to be devoted to the expensive administration services of the World Bank, even in Dhaka, would be scandalous.” A group of 30 British and Bangladeshi campaign groups has suggested an alternative mechanism, under which Bangladesh would distribute all of the money through a national board. A Dfid spokesman confirmed that the £60m Britain would pay into the fund was from existing aid budgets. He said: “I can’t see that this contradicts anything that the prime minister said.” Brown said that, while the bulk of climate finance should be additional money, some 10% could come from within existing commitments.”
“Brazilian Minister Outlines €100bn Climate Fund : By The Climate Community | February 24, 2009 : Brazil has proposed a €100 billion fund that would encourage poor countries to cap their emissions. Environment Minister Carlos Minc said the fund would help unblock the impasse between developed and developing countries over action beyond 2012 to combat global warming. : Point Carbon | February 20 2009”
“British PM Brown claims Rudd’s backing for climate change fund : EXCLUSIVE: Peter Wilson | July 08, 2009 : Article from: The Australian : BRITISH Prime Minister Gordon Brown says he has won Kevin Rudd’s backing for a bold proposal to create a $122 billion-a-year climate change fund for poorer countries, in the hope of breaking the deadlock threatening a new global agreement to fight climate change. The Australian government has not made any public response to Britain’s proposal for the huge fund but, after private talks between the two leaders, Mr Brown revealed in an exclusive briefing at 10 Downing Street yesterday that he believed he already had Mr Rudd’s “in principle” support. No other developed country has yet backed Mr Brown’s call on June 27 for a £60bn ($122bn) fund, which has been praised by green groups, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and several poorer countries as a potential breakthrough that could save the struggling attempts to sign a global agreement in Copenhagen in December.”
“Gordon Brown Pitches $100 Billion Climate Finance Plan : by Daniel Kessler, San Francisco, California on 06.27.09 : Business & Politics : The world is down to about 160 days until the international climate talks in Copenhagen begin. On the table are short-term and long-term targets for emissions reductions in both the developed world and in developing countries, forest protection, and financing for climate change mitigation and adaptation. To address the financing problem, the UK’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown has put forward a proposal for a $100 billion dollar fund. Last week, at the Major Economies Forum, the Mexican government proposed a $10 billion dollar plan for mitigation, adaptation, and technology transfer. The fund would be paid by all countries, but countries in need would get the lion’s share of the fund. Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s plan goes much further, faster. The plan was published in “The Road to Copenhagen”, a strategy for a global climate deal. Brown told ambassadors, green groups and business organizations: “An ambitious agreement in Copenhagen is certainly achievable. And yet it remains far from certain. We cannot allow this to drift – when every year of delay retards investment, locks us into a higher emissions pathway, worsens the impacts on the poorest and most vulnerable, and increases the costs of eventual reduction. Copenhagen is twenty-three weeks away. When historians look back on this critical moment, let them say, not that we were the generation that failed our children; but that we had the courage, and the will, to succeed.” Brown proposed that developed countries should funnel $100 billion per year by 2020 to help developing countries address climate change. The fund would cover plans to reduce emissions, protect tropical forests, and adapt to global warming. Last week, the UK published a report that projected that in the 2080s temperatures could, under a business-as-usual approach, increase to “12 degrees C warmer on the hottest summer days and sea levels could rise by 36 cm.””
“Jul-6-2009 : US tariffs tied to climate change is stupid : By Ray Block : The US House of Representatives in passing the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACTS) added to it a tariff measure, which has created predictable outcries by China and India. As it stands, were the US Senate to go along with it, the US would impose import tariffs on goods from countries that do not take sufficient steps to control carbon emissions…India, with near to one sixth of the world population, has one of the lowest per capita emissions, with 1.2 tonnes per head, about 4.6 per cent of total global emissions. However, the per capita emissions will rise as India over the next decade will increase coal generation of electricity from 450,000 tonnes to about one billion tonnes…The Indian environment minister said “there is no turning away from our karma- without coal, we have no economic future.” India needed access to new technologies-including clean coal- to help reduce the environmental impact of its dependence on coal and to deal with other climate change issues…None of the developed countries are going to offer 40 per cent emissions reduction by 2020. But at least UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called for US$100 billion a year by 2020 to be set aside in a climate fund for use by developing countries. He said that both developed and advanced developing countries should contribute, according to their ability and emissions. Brown said: “The UN negotiations on the arrangements for financial assistance in the post-2012 agreement are not moving at the pace we need. We cannot allow this to drift- when every year of delay retards investment, locks us into a higher emissions pathway, worsens the impacts on the poorest and most vulnerable, and increases the costs of eventual reduction.””