Paris Agreement gets $55 mn push from developed nations
Marrakech, Nov 16 (IANS) The implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement on Wednesday got a major boost with the launch of a $55 million fund by 11 developed countries to help deployment of clean and green technologies by the developing nations.
The Capacity-building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT) — a new trust fund hosted by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) — was declared “open for business” by GEF CEO and Chairperson Naoko Ishii at the ongoing 22nd session of the Conference of Parties (COP 22) here.
Eleven donors that have pledged more than $50 million include Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, Britain, the US and the Walloon Region (Belgium).
Others, including Japan, have publicly declared their intention to support the fund.
Likewise, 360 businesses and investors on Wednesday reaffirmed their financial support and sought continuation of the US commitments towards the Paris Climate Agreement by the upcoming new administration in order to provide the long-term direction needed to limit global warming.
“Increasing transparency and enhancing countries’ capacity for monitoring and evaluation are lynchpins for the Paris Agreement,” the GEF Chairperson said.
“The CBIT will allow us to see early action on the ground, and help countries scale up their efforts to deliver their national climate plans,” Ishii said.
Ishii said she is “very happy that the GEF was able to respond quickly to the request from Paris COP21 to establish the CBIT” and noted that a number of donors have already lined up to support the initiative.
It is “equally important”, she said that “we have already received requests for support from developing countries, which reflects the importance that many countries attach to this issue”.
At the same time, the first set of projects have been approved by the GEF for implementation in Costa Rica, Kenya and South Africa.
Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said: “This is yet another positive and progressive initiative launched here in Marrakech that underlines the way donor countries are raising support for the climate action aspirations of developing ones.”
“Confidence and cooperation are going to be key to the success of the Paris Climate Change Agreement — now and over the years and decades to come. This initiative supports these twin aims as the world looks to build a climate secure future,” she added.
In another major financial commitment, 360 businesses and investors from more than a dozen Fortune 500 firms from 35 states reaffirmed their support for the Paris Climate Agreement and the need to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy at home and around the world.
“Implementing the Paris Climate Agreement will enable and encourage businesses and investors to turn the billions of dollars in existing low-carbon investments into the trillions of dollars the world needs to bring clean energy prosperity to all,” wrote the powerful business group in a statement at a press interaction here.
“Failure to build a low-carbon economy puts American prosperity at risk.”
Among the US businesses signing the statement are DuPont, Gap Inc., General Mills, Hewlett Packard Enterprises, Hilton, HP Inc., Kellogg Company, Levi Strauss & Co, L’Oreal USA, NIKE, Mars Incorporated, Schneider Electric, Starbucks, VF Corporation and Unilever.
“It’s vital that the business community demonstrates its ongoing commitment to tackling climate change,” Barry Parkin, Chief Sustainability and Health and Wellbeing Officer at Mars Incorporated, said.
Asking US President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump to continue with low-carbon policies, the statement sought continued participation by the US in the Paris Climate Agreement in order to provide the long-term direction needed to limit global warming.
(Vishal Gulati is in Marrakech at the invitation of the Global Editors Network to cover COP22 . He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)