At previous conferences, industrialized countries promised to create a US$100 billion a year Green Climate Fund for this purpose by 2020, as well as providing US$30 billion of “fast-start” payments.
There is frustration among developing countries at what they see as a failure by the industrialized countries to honor this commitment. Only US$23.6 billion of the promised US$30 billion has materialized according to the International Institute for Environment and Development.
The final text of the agreement in Doha merely “encourages” the richer countries to commit at least US$10 billion per year up to 2020. Some pledges were made, notably by the UK, the Netherlands and Germany, but the total pledged remains short of the target.
It is unclear how developed countries are going to move from where they are now to mobilizing US$100 billion of climate aid every year. However, progress on the Green Climate Fund and the agreement of a new mechanism to help developing countries meet the costs of “loss and damage” caused by climate change could point the way to a more targeted climate aid system. But equally it could sharpen divisions between those claiming compensation and those blamed for creating the problem.
The finance gap is unlikely to be filled until industrialized economies recover from the economic and financial crisis of the last five years.
However, one positive sign was the launch of a registry of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs). NAMAs are green growth projects, such as renewable energy or low carbon transport initiatives, in developing countries and are likely to be crucial vehicles for accessing finance from the Green Climate Fund.
The web-based registry should speed the flow of climate finance by accelerating monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) standards for NAMAs. Such standards will enable potential funders to assess the impact of their contributions more accurately.