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Saturday 17

November, 2018 1:13 AM



EU leaders say transparency needed in climate finance

EU leaders say transparency needed in climate finance

EU heads of finances and economies have been calling for a more consistent and collaborative approach to funding climate change plans, saying that transparency must be one of the key motives behind the movement.

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By Thomas Hudson 08.11.2018

EU heads of finances and economies have been calling for a more consistent and collaborative approach to funding climate change plans, saying that transparency must be one of the key motives behind the movement.

Part of this is due to what many feel is a continuing insistence to involve coal in the energy mix, despite many scientists calling it one of the dirtiest fossil fuels available.

Given that some EU countries have much more of this resource in natural abundance than others, there is a clear discrepancy over exactly when they should phase it out and how much control each nation should have over such a decision.

In a group meeting on Tuesday, the leaders said that public and private capital need to put their funds together to help direct finance toward the right goals and maintained that multinational banks have a duty to join them in their ambitions to phase out fuels such as coal as soon as possible.

They admitted that relying on state and public money could "never be sufficient" to tackle the sheer scale of the problem, and only through working together with private finance would they see any breakthroughs.

The EU has already gone a long way in terms of how much money that it has contributed, with its trading bloc having the largest input into climate finance in 2017. Last year, the EU pushed $23bn of capital into trying to clean up the global energy system, making it the biggest contributor by far.

It now fully intends to work with private capital to make sure that there is $100bn a year directed at tackling some of the more pressing climate issues, with the first tranche of that level said to begin in 2020.

The EU's determination for transparency comes in part because of the wording of the Paris Climate Change Accord signed in 2015, which says that all progress must be trackable, and funding origins must be visible.

Ahead of COP24 next month in Katowice, Poland, which is the same set of meetings that the Paris agreement came from, transparency is set to be one of the hot topics as all participants discuss how they intend to fund their climate goals.

All the nations that attend need to agree on rules in terms of financial reporting, and this is likely to cause the most disagreement between certain countries.

Presently, the EU and the US are set to agree that many emerging economies and developing countries will need strict monitoring because they have further to go in their climate efforts and have a longer amount of time to start producing less carbon.

However, China and other emerging countries have called for less stringent restrictions. They believe that tough regulations will prevent them from being able to achieve their goals quickly as they focus on targets and not outcomes.

One other outstanding question will center around the Green Climate Fund set up by the UN. Although the US is participating in COP24 talks, it withdrew from the fund acrimoniously, and President Donald Trump refused to meet former President Barack Obama’s original $2bn promise. Australia has also said that it will not contribute any more money to this fund.

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