UN Advisory Group must find new ways to raise public funds to fight climate change

A report on how to raise the billions of dollars needed by millions of poor people already affected by climate change must help jumpstart the delivery of climate financing.

The report will be considered tomorrow (12 October) by the Advisory Group on Climate Finance (AGF), set up by Ban Ki-Moon to identify ways to raise the $100bn a year by 2020 that was pledged by rich countries at last year’s climate talks in Copenhagen.

The report could help move discussions on climate financing forward by giving clear options to help raise public money for climate adaptation and mitigation without dipping into Government budgets. This money must be on top of the 0.7 per cent aid commitment and can be achieved using innovative financial mechanisms including the Robin Hood Tax and levies on international shipping and aviation.

Oxfam’s senior climate change adviser David Waskow said: "While some private sources of finance are welcome, only grant-based public funding can reach the most vulnerable communities struggling to adapt to climate change. Those on the front-line, like women farmers - responsible for more than half the food produced in some countries - need grants not new debt to cope with unpredictable harvests."

"Climate change is a new burden on poor countries, making their struggle to escape poverty harder and more expensive. The UN group's report must show how the $100 billion committed by rich countries in Copenhagen can be raised in addition to existing aid promises."  

Progress in climate financing is viewed as a key building block by Oxfam to help put the UN climate negotiations back on track. The report’s analysis will help governments to take innovative public financing options forward through the UNFCCC, which meets in Cancun at the end of November.

Developed country governments must take leadership in this process to regain the trust of developing countries that are still waiting for the financial help they desperately need to adapt and develop in a low-carbon way.

Waskow said: "The Advisory Group report must give options to raise new climate finance, but decisions on how it is managed must be agreed by all countries in the UN climate negotiations."

He added: "Options which deliver substantial new public funds must be taken up with the same urgency with which rich countries dealt with the financial crisis. The lives and livelihoods of millions are at stake.”  

The report will be discussed at the final AFG meeting tomorrow, before being submitted to UN chief Ban Ki-Moon at the end of the month.

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Notes to editors

Contact information

Lucy Brinicombe: +44 (0)7786 110054 / +44 (0)1865 472192 / lbrinicombe@oxfam.org.uk