Have Developed Nations Broken Their Promise On $30bn ‘Fast-Start’ Finance?

Annex I parties have been accused of not delivering the $30bn of new and additional ‘fast-start finance’ over 2010-12 to developing countries – as agreed in the Cancun Agreements. Any trust deficit could have an impact on progress at COP17 in Durban in December. But there is no ‘go-to’ source of reliable and comprehensive information on whether developed countries have fulfilled their commitments on fast-start finance.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance concludes that developed countries have come close to promising the full $30bn, having pledged $27.3bn, based on the most recently released data.

● Of this amount, they have delivered only $11.3bn, leaving some 59% outstanding. Assuming equal monthly instalments, countries should have delivered $16.7bn (61%) by August 2011, meaning that they are some $5.4bn in arrears.

● We find that not all of the pledges are ‘new and additional’, as several parties are re-packaging existing official development assistance or previous pledges as fast-start finance. It is nigh on impossible to calculate developed countries’ pledges that are new and additional, due to the lack of reporting transparency and agreed definition.

● In our view, developing countries are assuming that more of developed countries’ pledges are not new and additional, than in actuality. Improved transparency over financing pledges should help to build trust between negotiating blocs, which will be crucial for progress to be made in Durban.

● The financing commitments are not balanced between adaptation and mitigation – as specified by the Cancun Agreements. Non-REDD+ mitigation far outweighs all other areas combined, with 69% of all pledges, and only 14% relates to adaptation-only activities.

● The imbalance across target areas may be because mitigating climate change now may be easier and cheaper than tackling its impacts later. Indeed, without mitigation, the impacts of climate change may exceed the capacity of natural and human systems to adapt. Nonetheless this is another area where developed countries have failed to live up to previous commitments.

Please download the full report for more detailed analysis.

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