Commissioner for climate action Connie Hedegaard was on of the panellists at conference on climate finance at Norway House 27 October.  . Photo: Karoline Aursland, EU-delegasjonen.Commissioner for climate action Connie Hedegaard was on of the panellists at conference on climate finance at Norway House 27 October. . Photo: Karoline Aursland, EU-delegasjonen

Close climate dialogue with EU before Durban

Last updated: 16.11.2011 // Climate finance is crucial, but only a part of a negotiation package during the UN climate negotiations in Durban in November-December. That was one message from the Norwegian climate negotiator Henrik Harboe when he and the European Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard spoke at a conference on climate finance in Brussels.

Europe’s contribution to the long term financing of climate measures in developing countries before the climate negotiations in Durban was debated during a conference at Norway House 27 October. The conference was organized by Oxfam International and the Mission of Norway to the EU. The French ambassador for climate negotiations Serge Lepeltier, the Bangladeshi ambassador Ismat Jahan and Jarl Krausing from the World Bank held presentations in addition to the EU climate commissioner and the Norwegian climate negotiator.

Same course towards Durban
Climate finance is crucial for the negotiations and the outcome of the Durban meeting, but it is however only a part of the package. Both a reporting system for emissions and emission reduction, a prolongation of the Kyoto-agreement and the conformity on a roadmap for a juridical binding agreement on emission reduction which includes all the major emitting countries have to be part of the package in order to reach a good result from the negotiations, said Harboe during the conference.

– EU and Norway agree on these positions before the negotiations, said Harboe.

EU’s environmental ministers reach an agreement on EU’s position on the climate negotiations in Luxembourg on 10 October. The meeting resulted in a compromise with an opening for agreement on a new commitment period for the EU under the Kyoto-agreement, but also with a demand for mutuality, meaning that all the major emitting countries agree on a roadmap including a deadline for a new multilateral agreement. The EU also demands that the architecture of the Kyoto-agreement will remain as well as being strengthened.

Norway speak more freely
– The EU is asking for a Norwegian initiative in the climate discussions. In those cases where the EU is not at liberty to state a clear message due to deviating opinions among member states, Norway has the opportunity to lay out initiatives and suggestions more freely, says Harboe.

During his stay in Brussels, Harboe also met with General Director Jos Delbeke in the European Commission Directorate-General for Climate Action and Head of Section Beata Wiszniewska from the Polish Permanent Representation in Brussels. Poland holds the rotating EU Presidency this fall.

– It is extremely useful to exchange opinions and maintain a long term partnership with the EU institutions, Harboe said in the interview.

Private and innovative financing is necessary
– Climate finance in developing countries can not only come from public funding. Private funding and innovative sources, such as a tax on financial transactions, must also be a part of the financing model, Harboe said. This was also one of Hedegaard’s main points in her comment during the conference.

– The EU upholds its commitment for a contribution to a climate financing fund at 100 billion dollar for developing countries. However, the funding can not be exclusively public. A mix of public, private and innovative sources is necessary to be able to make this fund happen, she stressed.

Maritime transport is expected to contribute with more or less 10 of the 100 billion to the fund due to pricing of fuel emissions. Simon Bennett, Director for international relations in International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) contributed constructively to this debate during the conference, but also stressed that the contribution should be proportional to the emissions. In addition to the maritime transport sector as a potential source for funding, the discussion also focused on compensation to the developing countries for the rise in import prices that may come with a rise in fuel prices.

During the debate on different possible sources for financing, the Bangladeshi ambassador explained that there is a growing awareness in the major developing economies such as China, India and Brazil of the fact that they must contribute to the climate financing measures in the long run, but that it is too soon to agree on this during the negotiations in Durban.

Source: Camilla Langsholt   |   Bookmark and Share