Providers of Climate Finance call on Governments for strong signals that ensure progress in Durban
Barcelona -- At the Opening Ceremony of the 8th edition of CARBON EXPO, the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, Christiana Figueres, called on governments to provide clarity and commitment for global solutions to climate change.
In the run-up to COP17 in Durban, South Africa in December 2011, the Carbon Expo International Trade Fair & Conference gathered thousands of participants this week in Barcelona to discuss the future of emissions trading, carbon abatement technologies, and climate and carbon finance.
In an uncertain environment driven by record greenhouse gas emissions, a continued global economic recession, slow progress in international negotiations and a lack of commitment by several governments, speakers at the Opening Ceremony and the Roundtable discussions recognized the obstacles ahead but also the solutions that the private sector can offer through the carbon market.
'We are convinced that carbon markets are an important tool not only to achieve emission reductions but also to catalyze investment and technology transfers, which allows developing countries to join the fight against climate change, accelerate the learning curve and lowering the price of the greenest technologies. We cannot wait for other solutions to come. Examples of good practices are not enough any longer - there is a problem of scale', said Teresa Ribera, Secretary of State for Climate Change, Government of Spain.
The speakers challenged governments to move ahead more quickly towards concrete commitments and a global agreement in Durban to define a post-2012 international policy scenario in order not to lose the current momentum.
'Climate change remains a massive threat to all that we are trying to achieve. Almost all of the development progress that has been so wonderfully achieved over the last two decades is deeply threatened', said Andrew Steer, Special Envoy for Climate Change at the World Bank. 'There will come a time, not long from now, when citizens will demand stronger action on climate change. It is important that we are ready for this time'.
Despite the gloomy outlook, representatives from UN agencies, multilateral development banks, investors and the carbon market showed cautious optimism - based particularly on strong private sector participation in the carbon finance and domestic market-based initiatives that are highlighted at workshops and side events during the Expo, and emphasized the key role played by markets.
As Henry Derwent, CEO and President of IETA, said in his opening remarks: 'In the minds of business worldwide, a price on carbon and flexibility in carbon regulation are still the essential conditions for effective emissions reduction targets'.
In her Keynote address, Ms. Figueres emphasized the need to blend financial instruments to achieve much higher levels of mitigation.
'We need to ensure that carbon finance retains and reaches its full potential and most importantly, we need to ensure that carbon finance and climate finance work together effectively. The fact is that Governments design, but they cannot fully implement. They need the private sector to suggest design considerations now that will eventually create liquidity and entice private capital for the implementation of both mitigation and adaptation measures', said Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC.
Carbon Expo is the last stop before the UN Climate Change Conference is held next week in Bonn, Germany. There, the Ministerial negotiations in Durban will be on the agenda, holding the key to global progress on dealing with climate change.
Barcelona - a global meeting point for the carbon market
CARBON EXPO is again showing its unique international character, with more than 3.000 delegates from 110 countries. This year the trade fair has 240 exhibitors including financial and legal corporations, energy and consulting firms, investment promotion agencies and multilateral development organizations, CDM/JI host countries representatives, and project developers.
More than 400 top-ranking speakers from the world of climate policy, finance, development and the carbon markets have come together in the Catalan capital to participate in 9 plenary sessions, 16 workshops, and 50 side events.