Climate Finance and what happened at COP26 by Cathy Yitong Li, Injy Johnstone and Karishma Ansaram
YOUNGO Finance & Market Working Group (the WG) advocates for scaling climate finance notably adaptation and loss & damages whilst making it more inclusive to the vulnerable group of stakeholders. At COP26 and COY16 (the 16th UN Climate Change Conference of Youth), we are pleased to have co-organised an event with the UN Capital Development Fund and joined multiple events of UN agencies and financial institutions as panelists and shared our views on climate finance. Further, we have been closely following the negotiation streams on climate finance and voiced out through actions at COP26 hub for inclusion of Human Rights in Article 6.
Climate Finance Goal
The success of COP26 rested on Climate Finance matters from diverse streams; the delivery of the $100 billion goal, long-term finance program and Article 6 of the Paris Agreement which is largely related to emission trading. Despite continuous advocacy from the civil society, as well as many LDCs and SIDS member states, the $100 billion delivery plan and loss and damage finance remain a disappointment. Although adaptation finance is promised to be doubled, it is still far from the 50% needed. The Glasgow Climate Pact sheds light loss & damage finance by dedicating an entire section to it.
Article 6 of the Paris Agreement
Finalising the Paris Agreement rulebook through the Article 6 negotiations proved a fundamental aspect of COP26 and one that the Art 6 adhoc WG focused on. The ad hoc WG observed the negotiations and organised bilateral with negotiators on key issues such as the lack of an independent grievance mechanism, the risk of poor quality credits being carried over from the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and weak references to human and indigenous rights. Our team also stood in solidarity with other groups to support the inclusion of human and indigenous rights in the operative part of Article 6 and released a joint open letter on this matter with fellow constituencies. As COP26 progressed the ad hoc WG sent draft textual suggestions to negotiators, disseminated one-page summaries of the changes required and communicated our positions on the key issues within the different iterations of Articles 6.2, 6.4 and 6.8 to a range of international media both directly through interviews as well as through actions. Ultimately, this work contributed to a number of key textual improvements in the final text. Such improvements include an independent grievance process, safeguards against double counting, mandatory cancellation for emissions reductions and the removal of fossil fuel transition wording under the CDM methodology. Yet there remain technicalities which could still result in accounting loopholes and allow significant carryover from the CDM. For this reason, the ad hoc WG will continue to work on improving Article 6’s environmental integrity and respect for human and indigenous rights in 2022 and beyond.
Caption: YOUNGO campaign messages during COP26 on Article 6.
Nexus between Climate Finance and Key Institutional Agencies
We also call for a stronger linkage between the technology and financial mechanisms, and for the financial mechanism to support the technology mechanism on private sector engagement strategy, as raised by many Parties. As we progress with completing the new ACE Work Program’s action plan, we urge countries to increase financial support for the youth.
On the other hand, we are very pleased to see the Adaptation Fund establishing its first indicator on youth. We look forward to supporting the fund in their work related to this indicator and encourage other funds, especially GCF and GEF to follow. We are also delighted to see the Africa Development Bank, Climate Investment Fund, and Global Center on Adaptation joining forces, to support youth-led innovative projects and wish for more initiatives being created in the new year.
Looking forward, we wish the Standing Committee on Finance will further its work on inclusivity and transparency, especially on gender mainstreaming and youth engagement, and we look forward to meaningfully engaging with the committee in the second part of its Nature-based Solutions Forum.
Caption: YOUNGO actions during COP26 calling for human rights and overall emission reduction under Article 6
The article is written by Cathy Yitong Li, Injy Johnstone and Karishma Ansaram from YOUNGO’s Finance and Markets Working Group.