Here in Durban, South Africa, as the second week of climate negotiations is underway, The Nature Conservancy is hoping for a spirit of compromise on the issue of how the money is spent.
Strong signals are needed to show that finance is already flowing for actions that reduce emissions and help us prepare and respond to our changing climate. Strong signals are also needed to show that funding will also increase substantially – with the long-term goal of spending $100 billion annually by 2020, as set at the 2009 Copenhagen climate talks.
Last week, the European Union and the U.S., both mired in financial difficulties, reported that, nevertheless, they met their Copenhagen Accord Fast Start Finance Commitments for 2011. This is indeed a positive signal for building trust within the negotiations and attempts that will be made to put the global Green Climate Fund into operation. If we could see new, incremental financial flows of money, it would be at least a modest achievement of these Durban talks.
On a parallel track to the work of negotiators at the conference, my team at The Nature Conservancy has been working with partners and representatives in countries that need funding to determine paths through which money could effectively and efficiently flow and how they can most easily navigate the many hoops and hurdles that make climate finance such a complicated topic. We hope partnership with us will ultimately result in the funding being spent on the most urgent needs of climate-impacted people.
Durban must bring the new international Green Climate Fund to life. There is nothing less at stake this week than the food, water, jobs, and security blankets of millions of families throughout the world.
Ariane Steinsmeier is senior policy advisor for European Climate Finance at The Nature Conservancy
Photo by Paul Mackie, The Nature Conservancy (A news interview takes place as protestors at the International Convention Center in Durban, South Africa, call for world leaders to “show the money” to those already affected most by climate change.)
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