A New Green Climate Fund Sprouts from Cancun

Written by Jorge Gastelumendi on . Posted in Learn, The Wonk Room

The seeds of a new Green Climate Fund were planted in Cancun as part of the agreement emerging from the 16th U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. Much careful tending of this seedling remains to be done, however, for long-term climate change finance to thrive and bloom.

As one Conservancy expert observed, no country is going to start making deposits into this climate bank account until it is decided who can make withdrawals and what the money will be spent for.

But the Green Climate Fund must be official because it already has an acronym – the GCF (which we’ll try hard not to repeat here at Planet Change)!

The Conference of the Parties meeting in Cancun formally recognized the $30 billion in near-term climate change assistance for developing countries that was promised in Copenhagen by 2012.

In addition, the Cancun deal included creation of the Green Climate Fund to channel long-term financing for climate change adaptation and mitigation (or lowering of greenhouse gas emissions). As much as $100 billion a year by 2020 may be mobilized.

As the Guardian Development Network reports, developing countries are not very happy that the World Bank will take the interim lead in administering the fund for the first three years, though a governing board will include an equal number of representatives from both developing and developed nations. This contrasts with the Fund’s design committee, which will contain a majority of developing country representatives, and will recommend for approval the operational documents of the fund by the next global climate conference (the 17th Conference of the Parties) at the end of 2011.

Meetings of the committee charged with designing the Green Climate Fund will be open to observers and input will be encouraged, a promising step to keep the deliberations transparent.

The Cancun Agreements also establish a Standing Committee on finance that will monitor the delivery and coordination of long-term financing. Its role and function will be further fleshed out as we head toward the next global climate conference, in Durban, South Africa.

Jorge Gastelumendi is senior advisor on international climate policy at The Nature Conservancy

Photo courtesy of: Flickr user Benjamin Stephan

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