2 Responses

  1. Paul Mitchell
    Paul Mitchell June 6, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Thanks for the post Robin.

    A backflip indeed, but at least one in the ‘right’ direction. It’s a shame, on some levels, that it had to be the GEF, which, as you rightly point out, is widely perceived as less than effective, particularly by institutions in the global south.

    I agree with Jonathan that the green fund (assuming it ever manages to get its structures sorted out to ensure the majority of financing gets to the places it is most needed) would be a better investment and I hope this GEF allocation is the start of a climb back towards climate finance rather than a one off.

    It’s interesting to note that adaptation doesn’t seem to be as out of favour under the current government’s approach to aid as mitigation (though I guess we will know more when the aid framework sees the light of day). Given this, I wonder if we may see a tied contribution to the GFC for a climate resilience window. That would be more inline with the government’s rhetoric and would still be a useful contribution to the global effort. Under the previous government, Australia was a (if not ‘the’) leader on finance for adaptation. Given the current emissions trajectory and low chance of a global climate agreement making a significant dent in a timely fashion, adaptation finance flows will need to substantially scale up and a significant Australian contribution to this effort might offset international disquiet around the absence if mitigation funding (and effective domestic climate policies).

  2. Jonathan Pickering
    Jonathan Pickering June 5, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Thanks for your post Robin – the announcement is a welcome affirmation that Australia remains willing to fund at least some global priorities for environmental protection. Still, any funding that would go specifically towards climate change via the GEF pledge would go only a very modest way towards restoring Australia’s previous levels of climate change financing. Even if a third of the GEF pledge (say around $31m over four years, or around $8 million a year) supported climate change, this would be far less than Australia’s climate change financing of around $200 million a year under the previous government. Now that the UN Green Climate Fund is newly ‘open for business‘, other countries will be looking to Australia to make a substantially larger pledge. Perhaps Australia is keeping its powder dry for a Green Climate Fund pledge (let’s hope so, at least), but supporting a fund specifically dedicated to climate could require a rather more elaborate backflip.

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