Climate Resources: Developing countries demand new funds and equitable governance

By Tigere Chagutah

As we hurtle along towards Copenhagen 2009, hoping for the best, but expecting the worst, developing countries have called for new and enhanced funds for adaptation and mitigation actions.

At a recent gathering of 10 African leaders in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa delegates agreed to demand a massive 67 billion dollar annual package to counter the impacts of climate change on the continent.

The meeting also sought to put in place a sturdy climate change negotiating architecture for the continent after years of grappling with the intricacies of multilateral environmental negotiations.

However, in the event that such a package and additional, predictable financial support for adaptation and mitigation actions materialises, how ought the funds to be governed?

Yvo de Boer, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, has outlined two main positions regarding the governance of climate funds.

Developing countries are proposing that climate funds be under the authority of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, with operating bodies to supervise financial flows.

This proposal, based on the equitable representation of Parties, would ensure a break with inequitable structures of the past and ensure direct control over funds by Parties under the Convention.

The developed countries, from whom the bulk of these funds are expected to flow, are pushing for governance of funds through existing channels.

This stance is based on their belief that existing multilateral institutions and regional development banks are efficient and therefore have an important role to play in the governance of the generated finances.

Industrialised countries also want to ensure that there is no proliferation of financial institutions, which would gobble up the resources.

Either way, one thing is certain, developing countries have for long been dissatisfied with the magnitude and current governance of climate funds and they will demand up-scaled support and a greater say in the management of resources in a post-Kyoto regime.

Tigere Chagutah is a PhD Candidate in Communication Studies at North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus – South Africa. He currently works for the Heinrich Böll Stiftung Regional Office for Southern Africa in Cape Town.



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