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Blog JD part 4: It’s the finance, stupid!

December 7, 2012.

Written by Jorine Boink and Jacqueline van Dooren


Amazing, all those idealistic speeches of worldleaders. A mentality of “Yes we can!”. All countries agree to really combat climate change. But then the negotiations start, and funding is needed. Who is actually paying for combating climate change? That is the major question of COP18, and it is also the reason why the results are delayed now. In this blog some possibilities for funding.

In 2011, in Durban, the Green Climate Fund was launched. To collect the necessary funds for this, countries are supposed to give an annual donation, rising to $100 billion per year in 2020. One year after this much promising agreement, the fund is still empty. The biggest victims of climate change, the developing countries, once again were disappointed in Western governments not taking their responsibility for causing pollution. The US replies to this by stating that they do not like to tell others what to do (do they?!) and therefore wouldn’t appreciate this being done to them. Poland as well, even though it was announced that this country will host COP19, keeps blocking decisions. Last Tuesday, the UK decided to change this negative focus, and announced a donation of $2,8 billion in 2013. After this more countries followed, luckily. This will raise at least $8,95 billion dollar, but this by far does not reach the proposed demand of $60 billion dollar by developing countries.

Beside these important initiatives to fill the Green Climate Fund, we heard several other ideas for funding. France for example will donate 10% of it’s Financial Transaction Tax to the Fund. This tax is a minimal amount of tax put on every business related transaction, which can save millions of Euro’s. The London Stock Exchange, where this tax was already launched, has proven that this measure does not have negative impact on the economic position of the country. A disadvantage of the measure is however that no awareness will be created for climate change. In the Netherlands the discussion is also focused on the solvability of pension funds. This requires further research, but it could give a new impuls to national budgets as well as climate funding, to get out of the economic crisis.

Additionally, companies change their focus by including climate policy in their work. At the ‘Climate Action – Sustainable Innovation Forum’ we heard several examples of these policies. Siemens was one of the companies to present its ideas. The German based company is building an electric tram system in Qatar, which will save 25% of energy and have 25% less CO2 emissions compared to regular tram systems. The solutions do exist, and according to Siemens, “Business is ready to act!”. Let’s learn from these initiatives, so that finally, more faith can be held in the climate negotiations at COP18.

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