Climate financing a hot topic

Publish date: November 4, 2010

Written by: Ruth Astrid Saeter

Translated by: Charles Digges

The United States pledged $100 billion for climate mitigation measures at December’s COP15 climate negotiations in Copenhagen but questions still linger about how they will be obtained – questions that Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and Bellona are interested in.

Today, Stoltenberg handed a report on climate change funding to the United Nations Secretary General in New York. The work of the High Level Group, which is behind the report, was led by Norway and Ethiopia.

The group has looked at what income can be obtained in order to invest in mitigation tactic

What they have looked at, what income can be obtained in order to invest in mitigation. Britain’s Sir Nicholas Stern, best known for his economic appraisal of what climate change would bring, called the Stern Report, also sat on the group. Its estimates were based on the Stern Report.

Several reports

Climate Financing is a hot topic these days, and not only at the UN. Last this week the Global Climate Network (GCN), a worldwide group of think tanks that Bellona is a member, presented a report entitled “Investing in Clean Energy.” (Download to right)

“We present five different ways that can finance greenhouse reductions in developing countries, to ensure that they are making the right investments towards a low-carbon society,” says Svend Søyland, Bellona’s international consultant

“One of the findings is that public funds could trigger more substantial private investment in clean energy and greenhouse reductions,” said Søyland. “Our goal is that this report will be of assistance to national delegations to discuss the how to get the $100 billion on the table.

Søyland said that Bellona will, along with its international partners in the GCN, invite key national delegations to this year’s upcoming UN climate negotiations late this month in Cancun.

Missing priority measures

As regards the report Stoltenberg will present, it has set climate funding in a more general perspective. The report will play an important role in the climate negotiations in Cancun later this month. The contents of the report have already been leaked and Søyland says it lacks tighter direction and a priority in the assessments.

“They have regarded the possible forms of finance and present them as a number of possible measures. The problem is that they have made an à la carte menu without suggesting the house favourites,” says Søyland.

“We had hoped they had taken on the challenge to prioritizing, that they had ventured ahead with recommendations which provided a little direction. That would have made further work easier for the UN, too,” said Søyland.