Digging in deep in Doha

Campaigning for change article written on the 07 Dec 2012

Here in Doha, negotiation sessions are going deep into the night. Negotiators with tired eyes are talking about redlines and deadlines.

Throughout the last two weeks, the issue of climate finance has been a major sticking point. So far only a handful of European countries and the UK have announced new climate finance pledges. Developing countries, including the powerful BASIC block, are not satisfied with developed countries’ commitments, toward their $100 billion pledge per year by 2020, and could block progress around talks for the new treaty covering all major emitters by 2015.

The lack of movement from developed countries risks undermining trust within the negotiations and leaves developing countries, especially those most vulnerable to climate change, with serious doubts about whether they will be able to continue investing in practical measures to cut emissions and build resilience in the face of a changing climate.

Australia has said it will provide its ‘fair share’ of climate finance, without elaborating on what this amounts to. Over the past three years, Australia has provided approximately $200 million a year to help poor people in developing countries cut emissions and adapt to climate change. This funding runs out next June and to date no new funding has been announced.

All eyes will be on Australia’s Mark Dreyfus for an announcement. With less than 24 hours to go, climate finance can make or break COP 18.

– Kelly Dent, Oxfam Australia’s climate change policy advisor