A Matter of Principle(s): A Normative Framework for a Global Compact on Public Climate Finance

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Solving the climate crisis is truly a global challenge that one part of the world can't do without the other. A global deal to save the climate as a common good for all life needs to provide an agreement securing international financial support for mitigation and adaptation action in the South. Staying far below 2°C global warming compared to preindustrial levels today seems hardly achievable and would in practice mean a no-carbon development path in the North and low-carbon development in the South. Climate justice in that context requires a fair and equitable sharing of emission reduction targets as well as of financial contributions from public sources.

Copenhagen has not delivered the fair, ambitious and legally binding agreement that many hoped for, and the world now seems further away from it than ever. Yet initial important steps forward have been taken in the field of international climate finance by putting a global finance pledge into the wider climate discourse - despite the prominence of the global financial crisis. That is no coincidence since solving the Climate Crisis increasingly becomes an economic challenge and thus debates on the right path and mechanisms focus on questions of quantitative facts and figures. Though this preoccupation with the economics of climate change seems unavoidable, as a political foundation deeply rooted in the ecology and justice movement we strongly believe that it is not enough.

What is missing in the climate finance debate is a normative framework. While a massive scale up of private finance is urgently needed, it is the responsibility of states as signatories of the UN Framework Convention to Combat Climate Change to assure that human rights, international environmental law and democratic approaches are safeguarded and basic criteria in the mobilisation, governance and disbursement of public climate funds are respected.

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Date of Publication
November 2010
Heinrich Böll Stiftung
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