European Finance Ministers Adopt Conclusions on Durban Follow-up

EU21 February 2012: During the Council meeting on Economic and Financial Affairs, European Finance Ministers adopted conclusions on "Climate Finance – Follow-up to the Durban Conference," which welcome the approval of the governing instrument for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) at the Durban Climate Change Conference, the work programme on long-term finance, and the decision on financing for REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries).

The conclusions call for: further specification of the functions of the Standing Committee on Climate Finance in order to assist the Conference of the Parties (COP) in exercising its functions with respect to the financial mechanism of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and in preparing a biennial overview of climate finance flows; and a cost-effective work programme that avoids overlap with other institutions.

On long-term finance, the Council commits, during 2012, to continue working with other countries and relevant stakeholders on potential pathways for long-term finance in order to mobilize jointly US$100 billion per year by 2020 by developed countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation, and the monitoring and reporting of climate finance, while stressing the need for a fair burden sharing among developed countries in the provision of public finance.

The conclusions also reiterate that carbon pricing of global aviation and maritime transportation "would generate the necessary price signal to efficiently achieve more emission reductions from these sectors" and has the potential to generate large financial flows. The Council invites the Commission to prepare a reflection paper by June on this issue, taking into account the work of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the UN Secretary-General's High-level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing (AGF), the World Bank and other international organizations for the G20. The conclusions also stress the need to account for national budgetary rules and the provisions of the UNFCCC, and urge parties to the IMO and ICAO to increase efforts to make progress on market-based mechanisms to address emissions from the aviation and maritime sectors. [The Conclusions]