Climate Change

COP27: Developing & developed blocks lock horns over new climate finance roadmap

Wealthy nations want to expand the donor base with New Collective Quantified Goal

By Rohini Krishnamurthy, Avantika Goswami
Published: Wednesday 09 November 2022

Preliminary discussions on a new climate finance goal at the 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change began on a contentious note.

The developed and developing countries disagreed on finance and who should foot the bill for mitigation and adaptation, according to a negotiator attending the event.

The New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG) on climate finance is expected to be finalised by 2024. It will replace the current climate finance goal of $100 billion annually from developed countries.

Stakeholders are conducting technical dialogues to discuss what the goal should look like in the years running up to the deadline.

Developing nations want the new goal to be to secure funds in trillions, given the need to implement the Paris Agreement, the negotiator told Down To Earth.

“Developed countries say they cannot be talking numbers as the issues of numbers are immensely political and should be under political discussions and not part of technical discussions,” the expert added.

Further, the current climate finance goal enables the flow of funds from the developed to the developing world. But wealthy nations want to expand the donor base with NCQG. This would facilitate global contributions.

“The European Union is calling for global efforts instead of contributions merely coming from developed countries,” the negotiator highlighted.

During a preliminary discussion on NCQG on November 7, 2022, negotiators from Antigua and Barbuda said that technical negotiators don’t have the mandate to “expand donor base”.

Alliance of Small Island States, an intergovernmental organisation of low-lying coastal and small island countries, said broadening the donor base is a political topic.

In response, the Environmental Integrity Group (EIG), a negotiation group comprising six nations including Switzerland, said other elements framed as “technical” by developing countries are highly political. 

Talking numbers or early harvest would stifle ambition in 2024, EIG noted. “They think we should talk numbers by late 2024,” the negotiator explained.

South Africa, on behalf of the African Group of Negotiators, clarified that the asks were not about early harvesting. 

“We need a technical process to arrive at specific figures and who pays,” South Africa said. For example, early warning systems need a certain amount of money. It added:

Stop playing a fencing game. Developed country partners, get out of your bubble and come to the table with your checks and grants and commitment to meet this goal.

Other elements of the long-term finance roadmap are also being negotiated. “For example, some negotiators raised that we need to work from the basis of what is required to meet the goals and nationally determined contributions,” the negotiator explained.

The next step would be attempting to unpack the quantitative and qualitative elements, the expert added.

Quantitative elements are the actual figures such as the amount of funds, while the qualitative aspects deal more with sectors or instruments, the negotiator added. “For example, $100 billion is quantitative but a requirement of splitting it into, say, 50 per cent as grants and the rest as loans, would be the qualitative aspect.”

The qualitative element, the expert explained, would be unpacking this number. It deals with methodologies such as mobilising private finance or considering countries’ needs.

“At COP27, we might have a multi-year roadmap with draft elements for the work programme,” the negotiator said.

Parties may raise issues on whether NCQG would deal with a global goal or sub-goals such as adaptation, mitigation, loss and damage as well as capacity building, according to the expert.

The political will of developed countries will decide whether NCQG will be finalised by 2024, the negotiator highlighted.

They may agree among themselves with a number, but ultimately the decision on the NCQG on climate finance will be taken by consensus by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement, the expert added.

Follow COP27 with Down To Earth

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