2 December 2011

Africa: Climate Finance Falls Short

Africans making their case for action against climate change. ( Resource: Sirens, African Singing at Climate Change March

Climate finance is falling short of the promised $30 billion 'fast start finance', the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) report has said.

According to an ACPC report released at COP 17 yesterday, the experience with the "fast-start" pledges and discussions of the $100 billion promise suggests the adequacy and predictability of climate finance may remain low if the future climate finance architecture reflects current practice.

ACPC Senior Energy and Climate Specialist Yacob Mulugetta said: "African countries, as well as many other developing countries, are vulnerable to climate change and are among those least likely to have the resources required to withstand its adverse impacts - yet there has not been any indication that the magnitude of climate finance will meet the scale of what is needed."

Spokesperson of the African Group, Seyni Nafo, added: "Long-term climate finance needs to be accountable and transparent. In Africa, we need to know how much is new, where it is coming from, and whether it will be directed to the adaptation projects that are desperately necessary."

The report which was launched yesterday showed that: of the $29, 2 billion pledged since 2009, only between $2,8 and seven billion dollars is 'new'. The total amount of funds that are both 'new and additional' would be less than two billion dollars.

The report found there are many lessons to be learnt from the current 'fast start finance' system, which was supposed to deliver $30 billion in 'new and additional' funding to developing countries, and was agreed to at the Copenhagen climate conference.

"While 97% of the promised $30 billion has been pledged, only 45% has been committed, 33% has been allocated and only about seven percent has been "disbursed"; That finance is being directed toward 'mitigation' projects over 'adaptation' projects instead of being 'balanced' between the two with around 62% allocated for mitigation, 25% for adaptation and 13% for REDD+ (forestry, which should count as mitigation); The current finance available for Africa and other developing countries under the fast-start finance is not commensurate with the scale required to implement the activities agreed to in the UN climate convention; There are few agreed benchmarks for climate finance so there is limited transparency and accountability as to how the money is provided," said the report.

ACPC is the technical arm of the Climate for Development in Africa programme, based at the UN Economic Commission for Africa, while the African Group includes the 54 African countries represented in the UN climate change negotiations.

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