Durban — Top politicians from several countries joined civil society leaders on Monday in the call for more innovative sources of finance to address climate change, including a tax on maritime shipping, to be part of the deal in Durban.
The group argues that the proposed tax could pump billions of dollars into the Green Climate Fund (GCF) set up in Cancun last year to assist nations adapt to the impacts of climate change.
"The US$100 million agreed in Copenhagen was a compromise and we are not going back. What we need now is a tool to build on that and we need to ensure that we have a system that will ensure the money goes to where it is intended," said National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel, who is among the supporters of the campaign.
Others included Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi and Norway's Junior Minister of Foreign Affairs Arvinn Gadgil.
Several parties said on Wednesday that negotiators were on the verge of finding an agreement on the GCF and that a deal in this area was almost certain. The only thing that was left was to agree on how nations would structure financing in both the long and short term.
Manuel emphasised that there could be no deal in Durban if the very issue of finance was not finalised.
"Obviously there's a whole range of other issues that we have to look at but finance forms an integral part of any deal," he said.
Vavi urged developed countries to stop thinking about their "narrow interests when the world is burning".
"Any success in Durban will be judged by the way countries agree on issues of finance because Africa, South Africa included, needs to be helped to adapt we looking for real commitments.
"While there was no immediate clarity on how the maritime shipping tax would work, supporters of the campaign said it would be similar to other forms of carbon tax proposed as one of the major funding sources for the GCF," he said.