By Janet Redman
For those of us (wonks, admittedly) interested in the fate of the Green Climate Fund – potentially the most important multilateral institution to deal with climate change in the near future – the outcome of 2012 Doha climate summit was a disappointingly mixed bag.
The 194 countries assembled there made promising statements about the importance of the fund in the international climate financing architecture and outlined their work for the year ahead.
But by refusing to make any firm commitments in Doha to deliver money over the next decade, industrialized countries threatened to relegate the GCF, at least temporarily, to irrelevance.
No new money in the mid-term
Three years ago in Copenhagen, developed countries agreed that by 2020 they would make sure $100bn reached developing countries each year to address the impacts of climate change and support their shift from dirty energy to low-carbon development strategies.
They also promised to move $30bn right away – what’s come to be known as “fast start financing.” They left unfunded the years between 2012 and 2020.
Thus commitments from wealthy countries for specific amounts and deadlines for medium-term financing became a key ask for developing countries at Doha.
Wealthy countries did not, in the end, agree to funding targets or benchmarks to ensure the delivery of climate finance from now through the end of the decade.