Bonn Climate Negotiations Still Come Down To One Question: Where’s the Cash?
The last officially scheduled negotiating session before COP-21 (the twenty-first Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) in Paris concluded on Friday, 23 October. The main achievement of the eleventh part of the second session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhancing Action, as the week-long negotiations are officially called, was to expand the draft text of the Paris climate treaty from the 20 pages they began with on Monday to 63 pages by Friday.
Although some slight progress can be seen here and there (for example, on mitigation and transparency issues), wide differences remain between the developing countries and the G-77, the group of 135 developing countries. As always, the G-77 want to know where’s the cash. Or as the BBC’s headline put it, “Questions over cash dominate.” The BBC’s story summarized the core of the disagreements in Bonn this week: “The G77 group are looking for increases on the $100b per annum from 2020 that was previously promised. They have dismissed recent research from the OECD suggesting that richer countries had provided $62bn in 2014-15 as climate finance. The poorer countries want money to come from new public sources and question the reliability of private finance.”
The $100 billion in climate aid was proposed by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at COP-15 in Copenhagen in 2009 and endorsed by President Barack Obama. The Green Climate Fund was officially created by COP-16 in Cancun the next year. The GCF is now in operation and gearing up to start receiving and distributing $100 billion per year beginning in 2020. You can visit the GCF web site here.
In addition to the $100 billion per year, the developing countries want to be compensated for their losses and damages from the impacts of climate change—typhoons, hurricanes, droughts, floods, etc. COP-19 in Warsaw in 2013 created the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage. Negotiations continue on how to compensate for L & D.