News story: Carbon cuts and climate finance commitments needed to keep up COP momentum

By HM Government

UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey called on more countries to bring forward fair and ambitious climate finance and carbon cuts to keep up momentum for a 2015 global climate deal, as he arrived at the COP 20 talks in Lima today.

The UK has been leading from the front, helping to create crucial political momentum in recent months since the UN Climate Summit in New York, where the majority of world leaders confirmed their commitment to a 2015 climate deal.

The UK championed the EU carbon reduction agreement of at least 40 per cent by 2030, which remains the most ambitious in the world and a benchmark for other nations. The US and China followed suit, with significant new commitments last month.

A year before Paris, it now means the world’s three largest carbon polluters have set targets, laying down the gauntlet to other nations to come forward.

Building on that progress in Lima, the UK wants to keep up the pressure on other countries to announce their carbon reduction pledges by the first quarter of next year.

The UK is also pushing for the following outcomes:

  • Agreement on the information a country must set out in its carbon reduction contribution so these are transparent and comparable;

  • Development of draft elements for next year’s deal so this can become a full negotiating document ahead of the Paris summit;

  • More action by countries to cut carbon emissions before 2020 (when a new deal would come into effect);

  • More progress on the rules to govern a global agreement, including on carbon markets and the system for monitoring, reporting and verifying emissions.

On finance, the UK has played a central part in ensuring the Green Climate Fund (GCF) has become the biggest and fastest mobilisation of climate finance ever, with a long-planned pledge of £720 million ($1.2bn) to help developing countries adapt to climate change and go low-carbon.

The climate fund now stands at $9.95bn with 24 countries already pledging, including $3bn from the US, $1.5bn from Japan, $1bn from Germany, and $1bn from France.

Developing countries have also taken a more active role than before, with contributions from South Korea ($100m), Mexico ($10m), Panama ($1m) and Mongolia ($0.05m).

Using the GCF to leverage private investment will be key to delivering the large climate finance flows the world needs.
This includes using public money to: reduce the risk of private investment; improve the financial viability of projects; support kick-start funding; and show the return on investment in clean technology in developing countries.

Mr Davey said:

“We must make progress in Lima to a deal next year – there is no alternative that will protect our national security, our economy and the way of life we take for granted.

“At home and abroad the UK has led the way – more than doubling renewable energy since 2010 and securing an ambitious target to reduce EU emissions by 2030.

“The UK and many others have made significant finance pledges to the GCF – it’s now time for others to step up to the plate.

“It is in the interests of everyone that we make progress to a deal in Paris, and right others play their part to keep up momentum to an ambitious deal next year.”

As well taking part in the negotiations towards an outcome in Lima, Mr Davey will co-chair the Climate Finance Ministerial Dialogue at the invitation of the Peruvian Presidency, the hosts of this year’s UN Climate Change Conference.

The goal of the Dialogue is to bring together both developing and developed countries on climate finance and lay the ground for the finance element of next year’s deal.

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