Storm brews in Mar­rakech over Adap­ta­tion Fund

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS - Pwr.gleaner@gmail.com Pe­tre Wil­liams-Raynor Con­tribut­ing Edi­tor pwr.gleaner@gmail.com pwr.gleaner@gmail.com

MAR­RAKECH, Morocco: HERE IS a storm brew­ing over the Adap­ta­tion Fund (AF)and what it rep­re­sents to the de­vel­op­ing world, as coun­tries look to op­er­a­tionalise the Paris Agree­ment that plots the route to global cli­mate se­cu­rity.

“There is con­cern over the AF now that the mar­ket (for cer­ti­fied emis­sions re­duc­tions is­sued for Clean De­vel­op­ment Mech­a­nism projects) has col­lapsed over the last sev­eral years, and the fact that the in­sti­tu­tion is not en­trenched in the Paris Agree­ment,” ex­plained Ja­maica del­e­ga­tion mem­ber and sea­soned cli­mate change ne­go­tia­tor Clif­ford Mahlung.

“The mech­a­nism for ad­min­is­ter­ing the fund falls un­der the Ky­oto Pro­to­col and there is a con­cern that par­ties (coun­tries) that were not a part of the Ky­oto Pro­to­col do not want to be a part of any de­ci­sion re­lated to the Ky­oto Pro­to­col,” he added, speak­ing from the 22nd Con­fer­ence of the Par­ties to the United Na­tions Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change be­ing held here.

The AF was op­er­a­tionalised in 2010 to be fi­nanced through two per cent of pro­ceeds from the CDM and con­tri­bu­tions from coun­tries, with the goal to build cli­mate re­silience in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries.

Im­por­tantly, it has en­abled this, in part through a di­rect ac­cess fi­nanc­ing op­tion for such coun­tries – a ground­break­ing pro­vi­sion for which it has been lauded time and again. The fund also has in place a readi­ness pro­gramme for ben­e­fi­ciary coun­tries, to­wards the suc­cess­ful im­ple­men­ta­tion of their projects.

The col­lab­o­ra­tive way in which the AF has done its work is an­other rea­son for which it has won high praise – all of which is tes­ti­mony to its value, ac­cord­ing to Mar­cia Le­vaggi, for­mer man­ager for the AF Sec­re­tar­iat.

“One of the achieve­ments of the fund

TSven Harmel­ing of CARE In­ter­na­tional leads a group of in­di­vid­u­als ad­vo­cat­ing to keep alive the 1.5 de­grees Cel­sius goal, as ref­er­enced in the Paris Agree­ment, at the cli­mate change talks on­go­ing in Mar­rakech, Morocco, on Mon­day.

is that it is a col­lec­tive suc­cess. The board and the sec­re­tar­iat have worked very well to­gether and have been pushed by civil so­ci­ety to work for the very best in­ter­est of the fund,” she told The Gleaner last month.

MAIN­TAIN AU­TON­OMY

“I think the three suc­cess­ful com­po­nents of the fund are the board, the civil so­ci­ety – es­pe­cially the Adap­ta­tion Fund NGO Net­work – and the sec­re­tar­iat, which have been able to work to­gether in achiev­ing what was best for the fund and to build a mech­a­nism that was nim­ble and can quickly reach the most vul­ner­a­ble com­mu­ni­ties, the ben­e­fi­cia­ries,” Le­vaggi added.

Mean­while, un­der ‘de­ci­sions to give ef­fect to the Agree­ment’, the Paris Agree­ment “recog­nises that the

Adap­ta­tion Fund may serve the Agree­ment, sub­ject to rel­e­vant de­ci­sions by the Con­fer­ence of the Par­ties serv­ing as the meet­ing of the Par­ties to the Ky­oto Pro­to­col and the Con­fer­ence of the Par­ties serv­ing as the meet­ing of the Par­ties to the Paris Agree­ment”.

Fur­ther, it “in­vites the Con­fer­ence of the Par­ties serv­ing as the meet­ing of the Par­ties to the Ky­oto Pro­to­col to con­sider the is­sue ... and make a rec­om­men­da­tion to the Con­fer­ence of the Par­ties serv­ing as the meet­ing of the Par­ties to the Paris Agree­ment at its first ses­sion”.

This first ses­sion of the Paris Agree­ment is to take place here in Mar­rakech this week. How­ever, par­ties are di­vided over the fu­ture ar­range­ments for the fund, which has so far ben­e­fited 48 coun­tries, in­clud­ing Ja­maica, and 3.6 mil­lion di­rect ben­e­fi­cia­ries

to the tune of more than US$354 mil­lion.

“The prob­lem is the con­di­tion­al­i­ties for ac­cess the AF ... If the fund is placed in the GCF (Green Cli­mate Fund), for ex­am­ple, the con­cern is whether it will be able to main­tain its au­ton­omy and with less strin­gent con­di­tion­al­i­ties for de­vel­op­ing coun­tries who want ac­cess to the fund,” noted Mahlung.

And ac­cord­ing to the ne­go­tia­tor, this is an is­sue for all de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, “it is one of the fun­da­men­tal de­ci­sions on fi­nance for the G77 and China”.

Their po­si­tion, he said, is that the AF “be en­trenched in the Paris Agree­ment, but con­tinue to op­er­ate in the way that it has since in­cep­tion” – no mat­ter the op­po­si­tion from de­vel­oped coun­try par­ties. MAR­RAKECH, Morocco: CON­FRONTED WITH scep­ti­cism from civil so­ci­ety over the value and ur­gency his administration places on ad­dress­ing cli­mate change and en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues, Prime Min­is­ter An­drew Hol­ness has sought to clear the air.

“I don’t be­lieve that I could have set up a min­istry of cli­mate change,” he said, ad­dress­ing the first con­cern lev­elled against his administration,which opted in­stead to set up a Min­istry of Eco­nomic Growth and Job Cre­ation, where the cli­mate change and en­vi­ron­ment port­fo­lios re­side.

“That I have taken the port­fo­lio, that I have come here (to the cli­mate talks in Mar­rakech), that I am par­tic­i­pat­ing, that I have been lead­ing on the is­sues deal­ing with the en­vi­ron­ment, that I have been giv­ing a lis­ten­ing ear is sign enough that we take the en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues se­ri­ously,” Hol­ness in­sisted.

He was speak­ing to The Gleaner ahead of his state­ment to the 22nd Con­fer­ence of the Par­ties to the United Na­tions Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change on Tues­day evening.

In that speech, he em­pha­sised Ja­maica’s vul­ner­a­bil­ity to cli­mate change and the need for co­or­di­nated and ur­gent ac­tion to en­sure re­silience.

PRI­OR­ITY FOR CLI­MATE

Mean­while, Hol­ness said he ex­pected the ad­vo­cacy from, in par­tic­u­lar, en­vi­ron­men­tal civil so­ci­ety ac­tors to con­tinue.

“I am not expecting the en­vi­ron­men­tal ac­tivists to be quiet; that is not the na­ture of en­vi­ron­men­tal ac­tivism. And I ex­pect that their ad­vo­cacy will con­tinue. The only way that I can show that I am se­ri­ous is by my ac­tion,” he said.

Among those who have called for pri­or­ity for cli­mate change and the en­vi­ron­ment are the Ja­maica En­vi­ron­ment Trust and the Wind­sor Re­search Cen­tre.

Re­gional com­mu­ni­ca­tion NGO Panos Caribbean – which works to am­plify the voices of vul­ner­a­ble and/or marginalised in­di­vid­u­als and com­mu­ni­ties on is­sues in­clud­ing cli­mate jus­tice and dis­as­ter risk re­duc­tion – has it­self urged pri­or­ity for cli­mate change and the en­vi­ron­ment.

“Un­der the for­mer administration, some im­por­tant strides were made and it is im­por­tant – sub­ject to de­lib­er­a­tions with tech­nocrats, no­tably from the Min­istry of En­vi­ron­ment, in­clud­ing the Cli­mate Change Divi­sion and the Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Ser­vice – that those gains be used as the foun­da­tion to ac­cel­er­ate Ja­maica’s cli­mate change re­sponse ef­forts,” the or­gan­i­sa­tion said in a March 3 re­lease to the me­dia ear­lier this year, ahead of the new Cabi­net ap­point­ments only days later.

“Some spe­cific ar­eas on which Panos con­sid­ers there ought to be pri­or­ity ac­tion are: rat­i­fi­ca­tion of the new agree­ment from Paris; Cli­mate fi­nance; and Cli­mate change main­stream­ing, in­clud­ing gen­der con­sid­er­a­tions,” the en­tity added.

Ja­maica is now en­gaged with rat­i­fy­ing the agree­ment even as the new head of the Cli­mate Change Divi­sion, Una May Gor­don, has sig­nalled the in­tent to ag­gres­sively pur­sue cli­mate fund­ing. Fur­ther, there is a min­is­ter of cul­ture, gen­der af­fairs, en­ter­tain­ment and sports – Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange.

PHOTO BY PE­TRE WIL­LIAMS-RAYNOR

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