Government's Green Climate Fund move is a welcome first step Media Release

Dec 10, 2014 - 10:19am

The Climate Institute welcomes the government’s contribution of $200 million to the Green Climate Fund as a first step towards fair and proper financial support for poor and vulnerable countries responding to climate change, but added that these funds need to be additional to the aid budget and shouldn't come at the expense of current aid provision.

“The Green Climate Fund is an important mechanism to ensure the world’s poorest countries have the resources they need to improve their resilience to climate change and decarbonise their economic growth,” said Erwin Jackson, Deputy CEO of The Climate Institute, who is attending the climate talks in Lima this week.

“Australia’s investment in the Fund can also help improve resilience and foster a more prosperous and stable Pacific region.”

Yesterday, leaders of Australia's biggest development and climate change groups urged the government to play its fair part and invest in the Green Climate Fund.

John Connor, CEO of The Climate Institute said: “It is important that the government has reversed its opposition to investing in this critical institution. Developing countries, especially island states around the Pacific, are some of the most vulnerable to climate impacts. Helping them is important for their own prosperity but also for Australia’s own national interest.”

Today’s commitment is modest and falls short of the $350 million per year that The Climate Institute suggests is the minimum fair contribution to climate financing from Australia. However, the government has an opportunity to demonstrate its total climate finance contribution when it submits its plan to scale up climate finance to the international community early next year.

“While we welcome today’s announcement, we urge the government to reconsider, not hijack its overall development aid budget.  Substantial cuts to Australia's aid program have already been announced, so we urge the government to reconsider these and ensure that the funding to the Green Climate Fund leads to an increase in the overall aid budget," concluded Connor. 

“The Climate Institute also welcomes the announcement of a Prime Minister’s task force for post 2020 commitment, but regrets that Australia will not advance its target in line with other major emitters. The EU, China, US and others are making earlier contributions in the spirit of last year’s agreement in Warsaw."

"The Prime Minister’s statement repeats recent efforts to re-frame 2020 goals by using a 2005 baseline rather than the 2000 baseline used since 2009. This changes the minimum 5 per cent reduction target to a minimum 12 per cent." 

“Shifting the baselines doesn’t shift the science. Our analysis is that a fair contribution towards the internationally agreed goal of avoiding 2ºC warming requires 2025 goal of 40 per cent reductions off 2000 levels or a 45 per cent goal off 2005 levels." 

For more information

Kristina Stefanova, Communications Director, 02 8239 6299

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