OTTAWA, ON — Clare Demerse, Associate Director of the Pembina Institute's climate change program, made the following statement in response to today's announcement by Environment Minister Jim Prentice of $400 million in “fast start” climate financing. Under the December 2009 Copenhagen Accord, developed countries agreed to provide US$30 billion in financial support for climate adaptation and emission reductions in developing countries from 2010 to 2012:
“We’re delighted to see the government announce today that it will provide Canada’s fair share of financial support for climate action in poorer countries for 2010.
“Providing timely and adequate ‘fast start’ financing is essential to building trust and making progress towards a strong international climate deal, both at this week’s G8 and G20 summits and at the UN talks.
“Two big questions remain about today’s announcement. First, will the financing be ‘new and additional,’ as the Copenhagen Accord requires? Climate change has not made fighting poverty any easier or any less important, so Canada’s contribution must come from new dollars that are over and above our Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments.
“Today’s announcement also provides no specifics about where the funding will go. Some funding mechanisms do a much better job than others, and we would like to see Canada support initiatives like the UN’s Least Developed Countries Fund or Adaptation Fund.
“This is a long-awaited commitment from Canada — most of its peers had already come forward with their pledges. Today’s announcement means that Canada will not head into its own G8 and G20 summits without having committed the funding that poorer countries urgently need.”
NOTES: Along with other non-governmental organizations, the Pembina Institute sent a letter to Ministers Flaherty and Prentice this spring to request that Canada provide its fair share of fast start financing. Pembina’s G8/G20 backgrounder covers fast-start financing as a key area where G8 countries need to show leadership.
In 2009, Pembina published a more detailed analysis of climate financing entitled Our Fair Share.