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International climate commission urges additional funds for developing countries
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09:04, May 15, 2009

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The international Commission on Climate Change and Development on Thursday called for the mobilization of new and additional funds for developing countries to combat climate change.

The commission, launched in late 2007 by the Swedish government, presented its final report to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at UN Headquarters.

"The commission's report is timely. The Copenhagen climate change meeting is in December. The clock is ticking. We still have much work to do to seal a deal," Ban said at the launch of the report.

"This report looks at the links between development and climate change. It highlights the importance of adaptation. And it emphasizes the need to support the most vulnerable," Ban added. "These issues are central to the climate change negotiations."

In the report, entitled "Closing the Gaps: Disaster risk reduction and adaptation to climate change in developing countries," the commission urged donors to honor their ODA (official development assistance) commitments.

In addition to the commitment of 0.7 percent of Gross National Income (GNI) for ODA, it also called for new and additional climate adaptation funds without affecting ongoing development programs.

In the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change of 1992, wealthy nations pledged to help poorer nations adapt to climate hardships created for them by others.

"Unless this pledge is honored, the poorer countries will not agree to a post-2012 global framework on climate change," the commission said.

Acknowledging the difficulties of counting the costs of adaptation at any given time, it argued that costs will only increase as society continues to delay serious efforts on mitigation.

"Mobilization of resources is key. Honoring ODA commitments improves the adaptive capacity of countries and would provide funds to help kick-start urgent adaptation measures," it said.

"In the long run, resources for adaptation will be a blend of ODA and non-ODA resources," it noted. "The latter should meet the following criteria: additionality, adequacy, predictability, and political feasibility."

Priority should be given to the most vulnerable countries -- African and small island states in particular, it said.

The commission recommended a two-step approach to mobilizing new and additional funds for adaptation in developing countries.

As a first step, donors are urged to immediately mobilize 1-2 billion U.S. dollars to assist vulnerable, low-income countries that already suffer from climate change impacts.

In a second step, countries must agree on a mechanism with democratic and efficient governance, and the necessary flexibility to cater for the variety of needs.

At the national level, countries must be able to receive and allocate funds from multiple sources with a minimum of transaction costs. And local government and organizations must have access to the resources they need.

Chaired by Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson, the commission has 13 members from different areas of expertise and from different countries.


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