High-ranking representatives from 46 countries and the EU met in Geneva on 2 and 3 September 2010 for an informal exchange on the financing of climate action.
High-ranking representatives from 46 countries and the EU met in Geneva on 2 and 3 September 2010 for an informal exchange on the financing of climate action. The dialogue was chaired by Swiss Federal Councillor Moritz Leuenberger and Mexican Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa. Both praised the constructive atmosphere at the talks in preparation for the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun.
The aim of the climate dialogue was to raise awareness among the invited countries of the challenges involved in the financing of measures to deal with climate change. It was also intended to discuss possible financing methods with a view to exerting a positive influence on the formal climate negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Swiss Environment Minister Moritz Leuenberger and Mexican Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa chaired the informal discussions and in their statements on Friday, 3 September 2010 were generally positive about their outcome. “We debated openly, often outside of our traditional negotiating positions and explored the issues together. In this way we increased our understanding of the problems and the possible solutions,” said Leuenberger. According to Leuenberger, consensus was reached as to the need for a fund for the long term financing of climate action.
It was not planned to make any decisions in Geneva. Nonetheless, Moritz Leuenberger described the meeting “as a success because new ideas were discussed here and the ministers present worked together in an atmosphere of mutual trust.” According to Leuenberger this trust had been damaged after the Copenhagen climate conference and needed to be rebuilt.
For Patricia Espinosa, who will chair the forthcoming climate change conference in Cancun, the informal meeting in Geneva represented an important milestone in the preparation for the Cancun conference. The Climate Dialogue clearly demonstrated how essential it is that a viable finance solution be found: “Finance is one of the key issues in the resolution of the climate problem,” said Espinosa.
Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change also participated in the Climate Dialogue. She thanked Switzerland and Mexico for the organisation of the Climate Dialogue and stressed that the finance issue is one of the important pillars of the international climate negotiations. According to Figueres, the Geneva Climate Dialogue showed that transparency will prove to be a crucial element in re-establishing confidence in international climate policy in the aftermath of the Copenhagen climate change conference.
USD 100 billion required annually after 2020
In accordance with the Copenhagen Accord, to avoid further climate change and mitigate its already noticeable consequences, USD 100 billion is to be made available annually from 2020 through the mechanism of a climate fund. Among the topics discussed in Geneva was the possible form to be taken by such a fund, how it would be financed (public and private sources) and how the various funding flows in the climate sector can be monitored and coordinated.
Switzerland and Mexico organised the informal meeting in Geneva to provide an opportunity outside of the formal negotiations for the discussion of the crucial question of climate finance. It was also aimed to re-build confidence in the wake of the climate change conference in Copenhagen, which failed to meet the high expectations placed on it. The purpose of the Geneva climate meeting from the outset was to facilitate dialogue and not to make any decisions. Delegates from 46 representative countries and the EU participated in the talks; 20 of the countries were represented at ministerial level.
Constructive Geneva Climate Dialogue – Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), Switzerland
Geneva Dialogue on Climate Finance Bulletin – A Summary Report of the Geneva Dialogue on Climate Finance [5 pages, 538kb]