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Sustainable Energy and Economy Network » Article / Declaration

Towards a Global Climate Fund

December 10, 2008 ·

Over 160 citizen groups call for the establishment of a major new Global Climate Fund.

In a world long plagued by poverty, the climate crisis is now terrifyingly urgent. We, the undersigned groups and organizations, understand that to meet these crises, the global community will have to rapidly mobilize at least on a scale comparable to recent responses to the global financial crisis. In the face of the economic meltdown, over four trillion US dollars were mobilized in a mere two months. To successfully face down the climate crisis, a similar level of ambition is needed.

Today, despite international commitments to address deepening impoverishment and the food crisis, the developing world is still forced to use much needed resources to pay for illegitimate debt. Wealthy nations continue to provide hundreds of billions of US dollars in subsidies for rich companies that produce fossil fuels. In order to signal new priorities, these practices must be stopped, immediately. Debts must be cancelled. Public subsidies to dirty energy must end.(1)

Taking into account historical and current contributions to global warming, nations will need to make deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. Developed countries must fulfill their obligations to lead in reducing emissions and to provide significant financial and technological resources to developing countries with the complementary goals of enabling nations, communities and people to effectively deal with current and unavoidable climate impacts and to make a rapid transition to clean-energy possible. As agreed in the UNFCCC, the extent to which developing countries fulfill their obligations will depend on effective implementation by developed countries of their binding commitments, particularly relating to financing and technology.

In this context, we call for an enhanced financial architecture including a new Global Climate Fund (2) to be set up under the control of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that adheres to the following principles:

Substantial, Obligatory and Automatic Funding: In order to finance programs for dealing with the impacts of climate change (adaptation) and the shift to a clean energy low-carbon development path (mitigation) in developing countries hundreds of billions of new and additional US dollars will need to be provided annually.(3) The Global Climate Fund needs to be large enough to sustain distinct financing windows for mitigation, adaptation, and reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation. The core financing of this Global Fund must be obligatory and automatic rather than voluntary. Diverse sources will be required to generate the volume of funding needed, and they must be established on the UN principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” based on countries’ historical and current contribution to global warming and their respective capabilities.(4)

Representative Governance: The governance of the Global Climate Fund must be democratic, transparent, and accountable to all, especially the impoverished and vulnerable communities most affected by global warming. Developing countries should have strong, direct equitable representation in decision-making and technical bodies. Civil society groups, social movements and indigenous peoples, from developing and developed nations, must be formally represented within all governance structures.

Participatory Planning: The Global Climate Fund must assist countries with financial and technical support to carry out national climate action plans designed by countries through a sovereign and democratic process that ensures the full participation of climate impacted peoples. Plans will include actions and policies that will enable people and communities to deal with the impacts of global warming and ensure the shift to low-carbon economies (addressing the energy, transportation, and agricultural sectors among others).

Capacity Building: Financing must be made available to developing countries for the development, application, transfer and dispersal of sustainable and equitable technologies, practices and processes according to developed country obligations. In addition, resources should be directed to building local capacity and expertise, and to developing appropriate technologies and people-centered strategies for coping with a shifting climate.

Access for the Most Vulnerable: Climate finance must go to government agencies, but we insist that people’s organizations, social movements, NGOs and community-based groups also have direct access to funds.(5) In particular, climate-related activities on indigenous lands, like forest protection and restoration, should go directly to those representative indigenous organizations to strengthen their sustainable territorial management programs. Women must have equitable decision-making power with respect to how funds are accessed, used and evaluated. The process for accessing resources from the Global Climate Fund should be clear, transparent and simple to encourage the most vulnerable communities to take advantage of available support.

Strengthens Rights: The activities and policies of the Global Climate Fund must underscore key global agreements, such as the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It must uphold the right to sustainable development - with full cost support for non-fossil fuel based, truly renewable energy (6) - to ensure that impoverished and vulnerable people are protected from the burdens of shifting to a clean-energy economy. The fund should strengthen peoples’ right to food and energy sovereignty, and gender justice.

Address Root Causes: The climate crisis is spurred by the rampant and inequitable over-consumption of the earth’s limited resources and the race for profits at great cost to people and the environment. A modest percentage of the fund’s resources should be dedicated to activities like South-South information sharing on best practices and techniques, and education of industrialized countries’ peoples on sustainable lifestyles and the need to limit undifferentiated growth toward the goal of reducing global inequality.

 

Endnotes

1. Except subsidies designed to improve local access to energy and transportation by the poorest, with the lowest possible carbon content for all options supported.

2. This call for a new Global Climate Fund recognizes and builds on the recent proposal by the broad grouping of developing countries (the “Group of 77 and China”) for a new climate financing regime, and supports the demand that no funds outside the UNFCCC process, particularly noting those of the World Bank, be counted toward binding commitments of financial support by developed to developing countries. This proposal supports the G77 and China proposal and goes further by elaborating just and fair principles that must be at the core of any climate funds.

3. On mitigation, the Stern Review estimated that stabilization at 500 CO2-equivalent – an ambitious but still extremely dangerous level – would cost about 2% of Gross World Product (currently $1.2 trillion) annually. (Nicholas Stern, Towards a Global Deal on Climate Change, UNECOSOC, June 30, 2008). The actual costs of mitigation may be higher because the necessary stabilization level is likely to be more demanding than Stern’s 500 CO2-e level (a level of 400 CO2-e, or 350 in CO2 terms, would be far safer). Further, on adaptation, cost projections are radically uncertain, but likely to rise to hundreds of billions of US dollars per year (UNFCCC, Investment and Financial Flows to Address Climate Change, gives an upper bound of $171 billion, but this is a preliminary estimate). All told, the total costs of the necessary global effort will likely be measured in the trillions, and some significant fraction of this would need to be distributed through the Global Climate Fund. Accomplishing this effectively would require properly staffing the UNFCCC secretariat and its operating entities.

4. Possible financing for Global Climate Fund requires further exploration, creativity and debate, but could include: Taxes on bunker fuels, aviation, fossil fuel exports and other sources of greenhouse-gas emissions; levies on Gross National Product and historical responsibility; carbon debits on investments for their contribution to greenhouse gas emissions; auctions of national and international greenhouse gas emissions permits; currency transaction taxes (CTT); and bonds.

5. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) serves as a model for a Global Climate Fund in its provisions to allow civil society organizations to directly apply for money from the Fund. However, it is important to note that other impediments, such as poor communication with civil society and lack of government experience with and/or commitment to work with civil society, have impeded the access of civil society to the GFATM.

6. Renewable energy financing should exclude sources that degrade the environment, threaten human health, and cause massive community dislocation like nuclear energy, agrofuels and large hydropower projects.

 

We, the undersigned, firmly believe that establishment of a Global Climate Fund with adherence to and incorporation of these principles is vital to the success of any global climate regime.

This statement was originally drafted by a working group at the International Forum on Globalization's Climate Strategy Session on Copenhagen’s Economic Architecture in Washington, D.C. on November 15-16, 2008, in preparation for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations.


Signatories as of December 9, 2008
(the statement in several languages and full list of signatures, including individuals, is available at:
http://www.choike.org/campaigns/camp.php?3)


Global

ActionAid
Friends of the Earth-International
Forum for Indigenous Perspectives and Action
Global Call to Action Against Poverty
Oxfam International
Solidarity Workshop
Third World Network
World Rainforest Movement

Asia

Agrarian Reform, Empowerment and Transformation, Inc. (CARET, Inc), Philippines
Aniban ng Mangagawa sa Agrikultura (AMA), Union of Workers in Agriculture, Philippines
Anti Debt Coalition (KAU) Indonesia, Indonesia
Asia Europe Youth Network for Sustainable Development, Pakistan
Asia Indigenous Women’s Network
Attac Japan, Japan
BanglaPraxis, Bangladesh
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) – Solidarity of Filipino Workers, Philippines
Centre for Organisation Research and Education (CORE), India
Economic Justice and Development Organization, Pakistan
Equity and Justice Working Group Bangladesh, Bangladesh
Freedom from Debt Coalition, Philippines
India Institute for Critical Action - Centre in Movement – CACIM, New Delhi, India
Institute for Essential Services Reform, Indonesia
Jatiyo Sramik Jote (Workers Alliance), Bangladesh
Jubilee Australia, Australia
Jubilee South-Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development
Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) for the Columba, Korea
KALAYAAN (Katipunan Para sa Pagpapalaya ng Sambayanan) - Movement for People's Freedom, Philippines
Katarungan Kalikasan – Environmental Justice Movement (EJM), Philippines
Koalisyon Pabahay ng Pilipinas (KPP) - Housing Rights Coalition of the Philippines, Philippines
Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralitang Lungsod (KPML) Unity Congress of the Urban Poor, Philippines
Makabayang Alyansa ng Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (MAKABAYAN-Pilipinas), Nationalist Alliance of Peasants in the Philippines, Philippines
Missionary Soc. of St. Columban Ctr. Justice Peace & Integrity of Creation, Hong Kong
Nepal Network for Sustainable Development (NNSD)/ NEFEJ, Nepal
NGO Forum on Asian Development Bank
North East Peoples Alliance on Trade, Finance and Development, India
Philippine Network on Climate Change, Philippines
Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement, Philippines
River Basin Friends (NE) India, India
SANLAKAS, Philippines
SOLJUSPAX, Philippines
Tebtebba (Indigenous Peoples Int. Center Policy Research and Ed.), Philippines
Women Workers Resource Center (WWRC) – Philippines
Yamog, Inc, Philippines
Youth for Sustainable Development Assembly – Philippines, Philippines

Africa

Africa Internally Displaced Persons Voice (Africa IDP Voice)
Africa Jubilee South
Africaine de Recherche & de Cooperation pour l'Appui au Developpement Endogene (ARCADE), Senegal
African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal
Biowatch (South Africa) and the Trade Strategy Group, South Africa
Daughters of Mumbai Global Resource Center, Kenya
Girls' Power Initiative (GPI) Nigeria, Nigeria
Human Rights Defenders Network, HURIDEN, Nigeria
Jeunesse Horizon, Cameroon
Jubilee South Africa, South Africa
Labour, Health and Human Rights Development Centre, Nigeria
Southern Africa Peoples' Solidarity Network (SAPSN)
WLSA Mozambique, Mozambique
Woman and Children Empowerment Association, Ethiopia
World Federation of United Nations Organizations, Ghana
Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD), Zimbabwe

Latin America and Caribbean

Acción Ecologica, Ecuador
Acción Ambiente A.C., Mexico
Agenda Politica de Mujeres, Costa Rica
Articulação de Mulheres do Amazonas – AMA, Brazil
Asociacion Civil Casa del Paso del Peregrino, Argentina
Asociacion de Estudiantes de Ingenieria en Construccion, Costa Rica
Associação de Mulheres "Vitória-Régia - Cidadania, Educação Ambiental, Cultura, Economia Solidária e Voluntariado, Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil
Associação Global de Desenvolvimento Sustentado – AGDS, Brazil
Bio-Bras, Mogi das Cruzes, SP, Brazil
Centro Ecologista Renacer, Argentina
Centro de Educacao Popular e Formacao Social – CEPFS, Teixeira, PB, Brazil
CETA, Montevideo, Uruguay
Chile Sustentable, Chile
Consejo de Uwishin Shuar (CUWISH)
Corporación País Solidario "CPS", Bogota, Colombia
Corporación Red Pais Rural, Colombia
Cronicon.net Observatorio Latinoamericano, Colombia
Ecoa, Brazil
Ecologia Socio Ambiental da Amazonia – ECOSAAM, Bacarena, Para, Brazil
Ecoportal.Net, Argentina
Eco Sitio, Argentina
FASE - Solidarity and Education, Brazil
Fundação Vitória Amazônica – FVA, Manaus, AM, Brazil
Fundación Agora S. L., Argentina
Fundación Amazonia Eware, Colombia
Fundación Pachamama, Ecuador
Grupo Ecológico Rio das Contas – GERC, Brazil
Institute Alternative Policies for the Southern Cone, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
Institute of Social and Economic Studies (INESC), Brazil
Instituto Andino y Amazonico de Derecho Ambiental, Peru
Instituto Caraguata, Caraguatatuba, SP, Brazil
Instituto de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento Amazonico, Brazil
Instituto Ecoar para Cidadania, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil
Instituto Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
Jubileo Peru, Peru
Latindadd
Llamado Mundial a la Accion contra la Pobreza – Peru, Peru
Mater Natura - Instituto de Estudos Ambientais, Curitiba, PR, Brazil
Motirõ, Brazil
Organizacao Patrimonial, Turistica e Ambiental – OPTA, Sao Joao Del Rei, MG, Brazil
Organização VIDA Viva, DF, Brazil
Organization of Indigenous People (O.I.S), Suriname
PAPDA (Plateforme Haïtienne de Plaidoyer pour un Développement Alternatif), Haiti
Periodico El Espejo, Argentina
Periodico Sebastian, Colombia
Ponto de Cultura Voluntário"Vitória-Régia”, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
REBRIP - Brazilian Network for the Integration of Peoples, Brazil
Red de Coordinacion en Biodiversidad, Costa Rica
Rede Brasil sobre Institutições Financeiras Multilaterais, Brazil
Servindi, Peru
Sindicato Médico do Rio Grande do Sul – SIMERS, RS, Brazil
Sub4-Cela, Mexico
Unidad Ecologica Salvadorena UNES, El Salvador
Union de Desempleados del Ecuador (UDE), Ecuador
Union Juntas Vecinos y Lideres Comunitarios de San Pedro de Maco, Dominican Republic
Unit Salvadorian Ecological, El Salvador
Vitae Civilis Institute for Development, Environment and Peace, Brazil

Europe

ACASC - Associació Ciutadana Anti-Sida de Catalunya, Spain
ARCI (Associazione Ricreativa Culturale Italiana), Italy
AMYCOS – ONGD, Spain
Attac France, France
Campagna per la Riforma della Banca Mondiale (Italy), Italy
CEE Bankwatch Network, Czech Republic
Dreikönigsaktion der Katholischen Jungschar – DKA, Austria
Ecologistas en Acción, Spain
Educación para la Acción Crítica, Spain
Eurodad, Belgium
FNF_Comunicaciones, Austria
FinnChurchAid, Finland
Forests and the European Union Resource Network (FERN)
Institute for Public Policy Research, United Kingdom
Jubilee Debt Campaign, United Kingdom
Jubilee Scotland
LDC Watch and the South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication, Belgium
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Rome, Italy
Oxford Climate Policy, United Kingdom
People & Planet, United Kingdom
PLATFORM, United Kingdom
Quien Debe a Quien Granada, Spain
SLUG, The Norwegian Coalition for Debt Cancellation, Norway
Tax Justice Network, United Kingdom
Transnational Institute, Netherlands
The World Development Movement, UK, United Kingdom
World Development Movement, United Kingdom

North America

Amazon Alliance, United States
Bangladesh Development Research Center (BDRC), United States
BC Sustainable Energy Association, Canada
Canadian Council for International Co-operation, Canada
Center of Concern, United States
Church World Service, United States
Columban Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Office (USA), United States
EcoEquity, United States
8th Day Center for Justice, United States
Environmental Justice Climate Change Initiative, United States
Essential Action, United States
Freirean Pedagogy.org and Paulo Freire Special Interest Group, United States
Global Exchange, United States
Halifax Initiative Coalition, Canada
Indigenous Environmental Network
Institute for Policy Studies' Sustainable Energy and Economy Network, United States
International Forum on Globalization, United States
Jubilee USA Network, United States
Medical Mission Sisters, United States
Nuclear Information and Resource Service, United States
Oil Change International, United States
Polaris Institute, Canada
Rainforest Action Network, United States
Tri-Valley CAREs, United States