Recognise ‘Un-enabling’ environment that prevents climate finance access, says Global South at UN talks in Cartagena

Experts & governments met for technical discussions and negotiations on New Collective Quantified Goal on climate finance
Talks at TED9 at Cartagena, Republic of Colombia. Photo: @ZitaWilks / X (formerly Twitter)
Talks at TED9 at Cartagena, Republic of Colombia. Photo: @ZitaWilks / X (formerly Twitter)

Climate finance will take centerstage at the 29th Conference of the Parties (COP29) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to be held later this year in Baku, Azerbaijan. 

A New Collective Quantified Goal on Climate Finance (NCQG), also known as the post-2025 climate finance goal, will be negotiated with a baseline of $100 billion per year, considering the needs and priorities of developing countries. 

In the run-up to COP29, various meetings are being held to gather insights from civil society and academia, as well as demands from national governments to determine the final goal. In Cartagena, Colombia, two such meetings took place: the ninth Technical Expert Dialogue (TED 9) and the first meeting under the Ad Hoc Work Programme (AHWP), from April 23 to 26, 2024.

What do governments want?

Government negotiators, known here as Parties, discussed their views on various aspects of the goal. 

Theme/element of goal

Priorities of developing countries

Counterview from developed countries

Lessons from $100 billion

African Group of Negotiators (AGN), the Arab Group, Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDC) and Least Developed Countries (LDC) agreed on the need to include an agreed upon definition of ‘climate finance’  to address issues of additionality of finance and double counting that they believe were problematic in the delivery of the $100 billion goal. 

Developed countries / groups did not mention the need for a new climate finance definition. The focus was instead on needing to expand the sources of finance to include various public, private, domestic and international actors. 

‘Un-enabling’ environments 

Need for recognition of ‘un-enabling/ environments’ preventing access to climate finance in the Global South was highlighted. This included the need to address high costs of capital for low-carbon transitions, high debt burdens, and existing imbalance in geographical concentration of climate finance in the new goal. The need for grant-based, concessional finance was stressed. 

 

Contributor base

Arab Group and AGN opposed any language on recipients and contributors, suggesting that there should not be any addition of new responsibilities for developing countries for the new goal. 

EU, USA called for an expansion of the contributor base, stating that ‘modern economic realities’ of different countries must be considered. 

Structure of new goal

LMDC, LDC, Independent Alliance of Latin America and the Caribbean and Alliance of Small Island States called for the goal to be structured to address mitigation, adaptation and Loss and Damage, potentially through sub-goals for each category. They suggested the goal be needs-based for each of these areas of climate action.

  • EU proposed multi-layered structuring of the goal according to sources or actors of finance providers instead.
  • United States suggested a design consisting of multiple “layers” as well, with the overarching layer being ‘a global investment goal for all Parties.’ 

Timeframe 

Most (not all) advocated for a period of 2025-2030, with revisions in the quantum as needed thereafter. They also called for NCQG cycles to be in line with the national climate plans of countries (such as NDCs) and the UNFCCC’s Global Stocktake process. 

Switzerland mentioned a 10 year ‘set point’ goal, that is, to have ‘x’ amount given annually by 10 years from all actors and sources in line with the ‘overarching investment goal’ they suggested as part of the structuring of NCQG. 

Burden Sharing

AGN, Arab Group, and LMDC advocated for explicit burden sharing arrangements among developed country contributors, regardless of the structure of NCQG that gets decided. For example, that it be specified in some way the scale and in what way which developed country is contributing. This was suggested as part of increasing accountability and predictability of finance flows. Ghana, Gabon, South Africa among others also supported this view. 

 

Broader views from civil society and academia were also captured at the meetings, focusing on the NCQG elements not adequately addressed earlier, their implementation and the interlinkages between various elements. Some glimpses into the landscape of views shared are provided below.

Parties and non-governmental experts will attend at least two more TEDs and ad-hoc work programme meetings on the road to COP29. The framework for a draft negotiating text reflecting all the views and necessary ambition will hopefully be ready for discussion in Azerbaijan. 

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