Asia-Pacific nations lead climate fight

By Nicholas Rosellini and Kaveh Zahedi
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, December 1, 2014
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A vital round of United Nations climate change negotiations will get underway in Lima, Peru, from Dec 1 to 12 .

A vital round of United Nations climate change negotiations will get underway in Lima, Peru, from Dec 1 to 12 . This will mark a significant milestone for the crucial Paris conference on climate change next year, which will determine if a new global deal on climate change is possible. As government negotiators return to the annual climate negotiations, they take with them exciting new developments in climate finance and planning from Asia and the Pacific.

At the climate talks in Lima, climate finance will again be at the forefront of negotiations and key in reaching a new global climate agreement. At the UN secretary general's climate summit in September, a total of $2.3 billion was pledged toward the Green Climate Fund, with contributions of $1 billion each from Germany and France. Earlier this month, US President Barack Obama announced a further contribution of up to $3 billion for the fund. All of this culminated in the pledging of $9.3 billion at the recent Green Climate Fund's pledging session in Berlin.

This is also good news for the Asia-Pacific region. So far, countries in the region have received a quarter of all global public climate finance. India and China are the largest recipients. Nineteen dedicated climate funds and initiatives have approved more than $2 billion for projects in the region since 2003. With many countries in the Asia-Pacific at the frontline of the fight against climate change, bolstering resilience of low lying deltas and small islands, and reducing emissions from fast industrializing nations are good investments.

While this international financing is crucial, for it to have a sustained impact and leverage the investments needed, it is also important that planning and budgeting systems are revisited through a climate lens. With the support of the United Nations through the Poverty and Environment Initiative, countries are better placed to do this and better positioned to track their climate investments.

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