Representatives of Civil Society organisations from Africa at the on-going United Nations climate change conference (COP 18) in Doha, Qatar express dismay at the claims made by representatives of developed countries that they have successfully delivered all the Fast Start Finance (FSF) pledged to developing countries.
Australia, Canada, Japan, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, USA and EU announced at a Fast Start Finance side event held on November 27 2012 that they have successfully delivered the pledged USD30 billion and even exceeded it by USD3 billion over the period 2010 to 2012.
We state that this assertion is both inconsistent with the principles on which the Fast Start Finance is to be delivered and not supported by facts on the ground.
Only USD23.6 billion of the USD30 billion promised was honoured. In addition, most of the funds are loans and not grants. The announcement on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 confirmed our suspicion that the fast start funds are not new and additional but had already been pledged before the COP15. Recent research has further revealed that they include official development assistance (ODA) and that most of the funds went to mitigation and not adaptation, which is the priority for African countries.
Mithika Mwenda, the Coordinator of PACJA said: “This is totally unacceptable and demonstrates lack of integrity in the negotiations, thereby promoting mistrust in the already fragile multilateral negotiations. Where have the billions mentioned suddenly come from?”
It is important to recall that in 2009, at the COP15 in Copenhagen, developed countries pledged to provide new and additional resources, including forestry and investments, approaching USD 30 billion for the period 2010 to 2012 to be allocated in a balanced manner between adaptation and mitigation. This was thereafter adopted during COP16 in Cancun the following year, making it an obligation on them to fulfil.
We therefore demand:
1. Immediate establishment of an independent process to conduct transparent and consultative verification on the developed countries’ claims that they have successfully delivered all the fast start finance of over $30 billion to developing countries during 2010-2012. In the absence of independent verification to track the claims, we are worried that a bad precedence has been set in reporting on climate finance obligations and delivery by developed countries to developing countries. This will be detrimental to the millions of vulnerable communities in Africa who are in urgent need of financial resources to address the biting impacts of climate change.
2. A credible forum of representatives of the supposed beneficiary countries should be established to openly and transparently scrutinise the claims of the developed countries.
3. The establishment of a clear reporting and verification mechanisms for future climate finance.