UN climate body brainstorms on how to promote long-term financing

Second workshop now underway in Cape Town

The main United Nations climate change body is currently in a brainstorming session in South Africa looking at ways to promote long-term financing of climate change solutions.

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is this week holding a three-day workshop in Cape Town. It follows a similar event in Bonn in July.

While the first workshop focused on an overview of long-term climate finance, the second event is designed to generate “more in-depth discussion” on new sources of climate finance and ways to improve developing countries’ access to finance.

Key parts are being broadcast live and on demand and via social media.

“Ultimately it will be necessary to redirect all public flows of finance to lever all forms of private capital into low carbon and resilient investment options,” said Amal-Lee Amin, Programme Leader International Climate Finance at consultants E3G, in her presentation.

Amin, a former senior climate change official at the UK government and the Inter-American Development Bank, also saw a “catalytic role” for the UN’s planned Green Climate Fund.

Josue Tanaka, managing director of energy efficiency and climate change at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), said thatprivate sector financing is already being mobilized. He cited institutional investors’ involvement in a €698m bond for an energy efficiency project by Russian railway network RZD (link).

Mattia Romani, Senior Visiting Fellow at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change at the London School of Economics and Director of the Global Green Growth Institute, looked at the increasing importance of bi-lateral funds.

These include the Norwegian government’s $1bn forestry-related ‘FREDDI’ [‘Fund for REDD+ Indonesia’] arrangement with Indonesia and Ethiopia’s innovative Climate Resilient Green Economy Strategy (CRGE).

She put a provocative question to delegates, asking whether these new funds are making attempts at global coordination “futile”.

In any case, she argued that international coordination needs to build on the momentum created by these new funds.

As for the Green Climate Fund, six countries are currently in the running to host it: Germany, Mexico, Namibia, Poland, the Republic of Korea and Switzerland. A decision on the host nation will be “an important element” at the UN Climate Change Conference in Qatar which starts on November 26. Link