Thursday, November 21, 2013

Rich countries must end obsession with private climate finance

A press release from Oxfam: Rich countries’ obsession with private finance means millions of poor and vulnerable people could be left to face increasingly extreme and erratic climate alone warned Oxfam today as ministers from around the globe meet in Warsaw to discuss how they deliver on their climate finance commitments.

Rich countries promised to deliver $100 billion a year by 2020 to help poor countries reduce their emissions and adapt to a changing climate. However two US-hosted Ministerial Meetings and pre-COP finance discussions during 2013 have focused almost exclusively on the role of private finance in meeting this target.

The invitation for Ministers to attend today’s meeting also highlighted the need for participants to come prepared to present ideas on how to mobilize funds from the private sector. Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International said: “Private finance is not a panacea. It has a role to play, particularly on projects aimed at reducing emissions, but it will not reach the most vulnerable people in the poorest countries who need help to survive in the face of increasingly extreme and erratic weather.”

“Rich country governments must stop using the private sector to side step their own climate finance promises and seize this opportunity to sort out the public funding mess. Murky accounting and a lack of transparency mean the world’s poorest countries have no idea what money will be available and when. The uncertainty makes it impossible for them to take action to protect their populations.

“Rich countries must make it clear what new money they are putting on the table now and how they will deliver the $100 billion a year they promised by 2020. Kicking this issue down the road again could spell disaster for poor communities who need help to adapt to a changing climate and lead to a breakdown in trust that will bury hopes for agreement on a global climate deal in 2015.”...

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