Rossie Caipan, 21, holds her one-year-old son, Clifford, in an evacuation centre in Carmen Village, Northern Mindanao Region. Rossie and Clifford were displaced by Tropical Storm Washi that hit the Philippines in December 2011.
As the dust settles after the Doha climate talks, one of the most
contentious issues of the whole talks was the mobilisation of long term climate
finance - financial flows from developed countries to developing countries to
help them cope with the growing impacts of climate change and embark on a low
carbon path to development.
In 2009 at COP 15 in Copenhagen, developed countries agreed to
mobilise $30 billion of "fast start" funds for developing countries between
2010 and 2012. Furthermore, they committed to jointly mobilising new and additional
climate funds reaching $100 billion a year by 2020. Such funds are essential to
ensure there are resources available to help children in vulnerable countries
cope with the increasing and future projected
impacts of climate change.
As the "fast start" period is coming to an end at
the end of the year, there is understandably nervousness amongst developing
countries about projected finance beyond 2012. As the recent typhoon in the
Phillippines has shown, the impacts of climate change are growing and with slow
progress on agreement on emissions reductions, these impacts of climate change
are likely to continue to increase. This means those in the most vulnerable
countries are increasingly at risk, and children in such countries are often
the most vulnerable.
this nervousness came to the fore. Interventions by developing countries during
the course of the talks has highlighted their concern at lack of funds beyond
2012 and the slow progress being made to mobilise the $100 billion a year
target. Nicaragua and others
for example urged developed country governments at Doha that we "cannot have a lost decade on
Some progress was made at Doha. The UK showed welcome international
leadership by reaffirming its commitment to long term climate finance last Tuesday,
highlighting their intention to dedicate funds beyond 2012 - £1.8 billion of aid
money to help vulnerable countries cope with climate change. Secretary of State
Ed Davey also reaffirmed the UK's
commitment to the jointly mobilising the $100 billion a year of new and
Similar promises were also made from key EU countries
too at Doha,
showing willingness to continue supporting developing countries in coping with
the impacts of climate change, which are the consequence of historical
emissions by developed countries.
However, despite this movement, there is much more
that needs to be done to put governments on a path to concretely mobilising
$100 billion a year of new and additional funds that developing countries
urgently need. Whilst some discussion has happened at UN level and G20, much
more urgency, political will and agreement needs to occur.
In autumn this year, UNICEF UK
ran our Speak Up For Children campaign, which asked the UK government
to help progress action towards the $100 billion. With the leadership they have
shown in Doha, the UK
is uniquely placed to push for further and more ambitious global action on
these issues in 2013, now the talks in Doha
In 2013 governments should agree a timeline for
progress towards the $100 billion, showing strong political commitment for
action. This timeline should show milestones towards the goal and a process for
agreeing innovative finance mechanisms to help ensure that the funds truly are
new and additional. In addition, the Green Climate Fund which will channel the
bulk of the funds will be constructed - it is important that progress is made
on this in 2013 and the fund is built in the best possible way to protect children.
plays an influential role in all these processes and could show strong
leadership in helping make such progress in 2013.
Climate Finance has long threatened to destabilise the
talks, and as COP 18 in Doha
has shown it is of vital importance to developing countries. The president of
the UN Negotiations Christiana Figueres has even said that climate finance is
the "golden key" that can unlock the negotiations. With urgency and
concrete steps on this agenda in 2013, climate finance can also be the 'golden
key' to unlocking a climate safe future for children.
Jazmin Burgess is UNICEF UK's climate change policy officer.