Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Progress in Poznan Hinges on Adaptation Finance

Possible Progress in Poznan Hinges on Adaptation Finance

Poznan, Poland — As government Ministers arrive today at climate change talks in Poznan, international agency Oxfam called on them to kick start stalled negotiations to secure a deal by Copenhagen in 2009.

“The UN negotiations towards emissions reductions beyond 2012 have proceeded at a glacial pace,” said Barry Coates, Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand. “Poznan was meant to be a staging post on the way to an ambitious deal that would be achieved in Copenhagen, but instead, it is like a polluting truck stalled in the truck stop.”

Far from the rapid progress that was needed after last year’s conference in Bali, little has been achieved. On the big issues – a vision for the future, targets, financing, clean technology – the negotiating text has not progressed.

“This is collective complacency on a major scale,” said Coates. “But it is not too late for Ministers to make crucial decisions that would move the negotiations forward.”

Ministers have been asked by the Secretary General Yvo de Boer to address six questions at a round table on Thursday. The right answers to those questions – answers based on science and reflecting equity – would move the negotiations forward. It is not too late to salvage an outcome from Poznan. Oxfam’s suggested answers are included here.

Oxfam called for urgent action especially on the issue of adaptation, or helping developing countries protect themselves from climate impacts and adapt to them. The elements are almost agreed to; starting up the Adaptation Fund, finalising a work programme, and, the crucial element, ensuring enough funding to meet the urgent needs. Negotiators are stuck on this last issue, but without it, there is little that can be done to save lives and prevent suffering.

“Ministers could leave Poznan with an agreement on adaptation, an issue that is crucial to millions of people suffering from climate change impacts,” said Coates. “But sensible proposals on funding adaptation have so far been rejected by negotiators from the EU and most other rich countries. This is unacceptable. Instead of ducking the finance issue, Ministers arriving in Poznan must reach a decision to fund adaptation in developing countries to take effect as soon as the ink is dry next year in Copenhagen.”


Government Ministers arriving in Poznan have been asked to discuss six questions in a round table. Here is a “cheat sheet” for the ministers with the (simplified) questions and Oxfam’s suggested answers.

1. What cuts in greenhouse gas emissions are needed?

We need to listen to the scientific evidence and keep global temperature from rising to avoid climate chaos. Rich countries must agree to cut emissions by at least 25-40% by 2020 in order to stay below 2°C warming. There would be catastrophic impacts above that, with almost two billion people likely to be affected by water shortages, global agriculture undermined, and hunger likely to kill up to three million more people every year.

2. What can developing countries do to contribute?

Developing countries can do a lot, and in fact many of them already are. But rich countries have caused this problem and they must deliver on their promises of funding and clean technology to help developing countries do more. Under any objective framework of fairness, the lion’s share of emissions reductions and finance and technology obligations fall on industrialised countries for at least the next three decades.

3. How can vulnerable countries prepare for climate change and adapt to it?

People have always adapted to natural variability in the climate, but human induced climate change will create unprecedented climate stress for many of the world’s most vulnerable communities. Early action must be taken to reduce their vulnerabilities and build their resilience to these new and heightened risks. We know a lot about how to prepare for natural disasters and build community resilience. It is time to deliver. Poznan must agree to start up the new Adaptation Fund and deliver new money, especially for the Least Developed Countries. Now, not later.

4. How can we make clean low-carbon technologies available to developing countries?

Developing countries have already made interesting proposals to address this, but rich nations have not responded. Companies need to be involved, but governments must put in place strong regulation to ensure that there are real benefits in terms of clean and sustainable development.

5. How can we generate the funding needed to make this happen?

Rich nations need to make commitments in Poznan to kick start this process. They agree here to start immediately after Copenhagen 2009 with at least a 2% sharing of proceeds from emissions trading to support the Adaptation Fund. Then funding must scale up from there.

6. What kinds of funding mechanisms do we need?

The new Adaptation Fund has a good balance in its governance system and rich countries should fund it by instituting a polluter pays system that delivers dependable flows of financing. This precedent should inform development of a comprehensive arrangement for a financial mechanism under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). We can develop new sources of funding by using already existing mechanisms, such as auctioning emissions that rich countries are allowed or levying airline and shipping fuels. World leaders were able to find trillions of dollars for the financial crisis; the amounts being asked to combat climate change are a fraction of that. If we don’t act on climate change, we will soon not need a financial system.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Another Leader Exiting: Statement From Peter Dunne

I have concluded, based on recent polling, and other soundings I have been taking over the last few weeks, that, the volatility and uncertainty notwithstanding, there is now a mood amongst Ōhāriu voters for a change of MP, which is unlikely to alter...

“I have therefore decided that it is time for me to stand aside, so the people of Ōhāriu can elect a new electorate MP. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>


Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>


Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>


Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election