Is there room for negotiations in the climate negotiations?

In the middle of widespread and growing dissatisfaction among developing countries with what can best be described as the “non-negotiating process” taking place here in Lima, there could be some encouraging developments on finance in the works.

Yesterday afternoon in the ADP, the co-chairs finally allowed Parties to see each other’s texts on the screen – a rather small step forward that makes ECO wonder what took so long.

The day also saw discussion on cooperation, support and finance; where South Africa launched a more significant initiative on behalf of the Africa Group (AG). After days of discussion on the finance and support sections, with little or no response to the many questions and challenges on process, the Africa Group put forward an alternative text for the finance section of the non-paper on elements.

ECO commends the Africa Group for this initiative, and thinks that Parties and the Co-chairs should accept the request that this text be used as a basis for negotiations on finance in the elements paper.

The paper is well-structured, concise, and covers most of the essential content on finance that needs to be in the Paris Agreement.

Some of the provisions that could make it a good starting point for negotiations on the content of the agreement include: the call for a collective quantified finance goal for the post-2020 period that includes a specific amount from public sources; consideration of a range of new sources of finance; a link to the amount of financing needed to achieve the agreed temperature goal; the need for continued scaling up beyond 2020; and primary but not exclusive responsibility of Annex I countries for providing support and finance.

The text is of course not the final word – it can be further improved by creative proposals on content and drafting improvements, and perhaps by drawing on some of the existing finance text in the current non-paper.

But beyond the merits of the AG’s text proposal, adopting this text as a basis of negotiation would demonstrate that the process is open to good proposals and that Parties can start to take ownership of the negotiating process and its outcomes, before time runs out.