A high-level side event was held on Wednesday 7 December on Climate Finance for the press and public. The meeting was held by, amongst others, UNFCCC Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, Ethiopian Prime Minster Meles Zenawi, head of South African National Planning Commission, Trevor Manuel and Lord Stern.
The main message communicated during the meeting was that the goal of achieving the climate finance goal of $100 billion per annum by 2020 is considered achievable. However it was noted that there were still significant challenges to be overcome to achieve this long-term goal. The desire of the COP17 was to resolve all the issues around the Green Climate Fund so that it could be launched here and the priority would be to establish the rules and governance structure in order to allow it to be taken forward.
It was, however, noted that there were concerns over the delivery of financing in the midst of current austerity measures being instituted by developed countries during these recessionary times. In acknowledgement of this the fund would not rely solely on public budgets but look to create new funding sources. The key channel of funding to be explored in this regard is to be carbon pricing and the establishment of a price for carbon. Carbon pricing was announced to have multiple benefits of reduction of emissions, development of clean technologies and generating revenue for Government’s and climate action. The inclusion of the principle of scaling up the goal of $100 billion per annum would also be explored as some countries had expressed the view that the current ambition may be too modest.