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Filling the Green Climate Fund – working out a fair shares system

Posted by Kiri Hanks Energy Policy Adviser

21st Nov 2014

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The Green Climate Fund will soon be open for business, but what's the fairest way for it to be filled in order to reach the goal of $15 billion? Kiri Hanks shares Oxfam's analysis.

Set up by world leaders at the Copenhagen climate conference, the Green Climate Fund is designed - over time - to become the main channel for finance to help developing countries reduce emissions and protect themselves from dangerous climate change. It was one of the outcomes which saved the Copenhagen climate conference from complete failure.

After five years of work putting the foundations of the fund in place, the Green Climate Fund is finally ready to open for business, and the time has come for an initial round of pledges. Developing countries have collectively asked for $15bn in start-up funds for the GCF over the first few years, until a system is set up for regular replenishment. This week, developed countries collectively mustered $9.2bn, which was just short of their own, informal, $10bn mark.

Oxfam devised a system to shape expectations around different countries' relative responsibilities to fill the fund. In the table below, we present eight different ways of looking at a country's fair share - and work out the average. The measures include our own Adaptation Funding Index (AFI) which we published to contribute to debates about which countries should pay for adaptation and how much. The AFI complements other efforts such as the Greenhouse Development Rights Equity Reference Calculator that deals with sharing out the costs of mitigation. Both of these approaches consider countries' responsibilities for contributing to climate change and their capacity to finance climate actions. Other options - all with their relative merits and drawbacks - include relative contributions to Official Development Assistance (ODA), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), total Fast Start Finance over the period 2009-2012, or the share of the United Nations budget. 

Fair shares by country of the $15 billion goal

Fair shares by country of the $15 billion goal, statistics compiled by Oxfam

Unless otherwise indicated, all numbers are percentages. Statistics compiled by Oxfam. 

The relative contribution to the ODA is the 2008-2011 average; the Global Environment Facility figure is the share of Annex II contributions to GEF-5; the UN budget proportion is for 2011 amongst Annex II countries; the Greenhouse Development Rights figures are from 2012; the Adaptation Funding Index is by Oxfam; the European Commission's proposed (50:50) was put forward in 2011; and Ecological Footprint refers to relative shares of Annex I emissions.

So how did different countries shape up? For a whistle-stop tour, our read-out is here.

Read more

Just some of our previous briefings on climate change adaptation finance:

Also, read our latest blog posts on climate change ahead of COP20 in Lima

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Blog post written by Kiri Hanks

Energy Policy Adviser

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Kiri Hanks