“Follow the money” is always good advice for determining who is serious about what. With that in mind, the Washington, DC-based World Resources Institute offers a six-item checklist of financial measures that COP21 needs to achieve. More money flowing from rich to developing nations is just the start.
1) WRI notes that developed countries promised in 2009 to “mobilize” US$100 billion in climate finance a year by 2020. With that deadline just 48 months away, the Institute calls on donors to detail their intentions, and agree to language at Paris that commits them to more than US$100 billion a year.
2) With a number of ‘developing’ countries, including China, Mexico, Colombia, Indonesia, and Mongolia making commitments to help others through the Green Climate Fund, WRI hopes to see “a growing group of countries … become contributors of climate finance.”
3) Announcements in Paris totalling US$248 million to help least-developed countries adapt to climate change will still leave their needs unmet. African countries alone, WRI observes, are asking that currently committed financing of US$16 billion be doubled by 2020. It suggests that future climate assistance commitments “balance the allocation of public funding between mitigation and adaptation.”
4) To dispel uncertainty and increase trust among both rich and poor nations, the Institute urges that all countries report biannually on the financing they have received or provided.
5) Amid considerable skepticism about the adequacy of funds flowing to recipient nations, WRI recommends a mechanism be developed to regularly review the level of financing being provided, and its sufficiency for meeting global mitigation and adaptation goals.
6) It will take more than existing government commitments, “trillions of dollars, not just billions,” the Washington think tank observes, to cope adequately with climate change. It hopes to see negotiators in Paris agree on language that will spur private as well as public investment to shift “from high-emissions to low-emissions activities, and from risky to resilient projects.”