By Wezi Tjaronda
The climate change talks in Bali present an opportunity for developing countries to negotiate for an adaptation fund, an official of the United National Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), said recently.
She told journalists attending a week long training programme on climate change in Geneva that the world was living with the inevitable and one of the ways in which they could cope was to reduce climate change-related disasters and adapt to climate change.
Although an adaptation fund has been in existence since the advent of the Kyoto Protocol, countries were still deciding how it would operate.
Since the common, but differentiated responsibility, puts the blame and the responsibility to pay for pollution on industrialised countries, this has been part of the problem in the negotiations.
“Negotiations have been stuck for many years as industrialised countries do not want to pay and poor countries insist that the rich nations have created the problems,” said Sylvia Llosa of ISDR.
She said the meeting was an opportunity to demand an adaptation fund to implement disaster risk reduction such as reducing infrastructure losses,” said Sylvia Llosa of ISDR.
Llosa said the question was not so much the fund but where to get the money because it would run into billons. Presently, there are the Least Developed Country Fund for LDCs, a Special Climate Change Fund for all developing countries focusing on mitigation.
An opinion piece published by the International Institute for Environment and Development said since some Small Island Developing States may be completely inundated and disappear altogether and that other cases, the lack of capacity to cope with the impacts of climate change may result in the forced migration of tens of millions of people, vulnerable countries needed substantial funding for adaptation that could run into tens of billions of dollars every year.
In August, the fourth sessions working group on further commitments for Annex 1 parties under the Kyoto Protocol and Convention Dialogue also discussed finance issues.
Estimates are that between US$50 and US$170 billion additional investment flows will be needed for adaptation by the year 2030.
While others suggested creating a clean growth instrument for the future, some suggested enlarging the carbon market as a way of addressing adaptation.
Although African countries are among the 100 most vulnerable countries to effects of climate change, none of them have benefited from the clean development mechanisms. The CDM is a mechanism through which polluting countries that have surpassed their emission limits can buy emissions from another country that is below the threshold.
“It is a business opportunity for the south to build clean energy factories,” said Chaim Nissim of Noe 21 recently.
She said a few countries understood the concept. Sixty percent of CDM projects are housed in China. He said lack of engineers with technical capacity to come up with CDM projects was another reason why Africa has no projects yet.
At present two African CDM projects are in the pipeline. Nissim said if the world was getting 2ǟ