FEATURE: Climate change – working together for Durban
The first meeting of the 40 members of the Transitional Committee (TC) was held in April 2011 in Mexico. The decision as to who will lead the TC took a lot of political haggling. With a view to avoiding division, we agreed to have three co-chairs – Ministers from Mexico, South Africa and Norway. Seven members of the TC are from Asia, and there was a strong desire from the Asian group that I should put up my name as co-chair of the Committee.
In the end we agreed to nominate Ambassador Burhan Ghafoor of Singapore to be vice-chair from Asia. Two issues determined our position on the leadership. We needed high-level political figures who would secure political ownership, and we needed both the developed and developing world to be represented. We are hoping that at a later stage we can have Ambassador Burhan as vice chair so Asia will also be represented.
In the meantime, I have been asked to organise a workshop on the lessons learnt from international funds and institutions; I was also appointed as co-facilitator along with Australia to frame the operational modality of the Green Climate Fund.
The workshop scheduled for Tokyo later this year willlook at the governance structures of various international funds: integrated funds (IDA), partially integrated funds (GEF), and independent funds like the global HIV, TB and Malaria and Adaptation funds. The workshop is aimed at drawing lessons from these funds – what we need to do and what we should not do. At the workshop we will allow different stakeholders like civil society and the private sector to critique these funds and try to come up with some out-of-the box thinking to design a new green climate fund.
On operational modalities, the essential task is to develop methods for managing large-scale financial resources. We have to find ways to raise funds through a mix of public and private sector money and distribute them through various channels like the multilateral agencies or national funds. This is one of the most important jobs, and we are working very hard on it before the next UNFCCC climate change conference to be held in Durban. All the members are constantly in touch with each other and will be meeting several times before Durban – in Bonn at the end of May, then Tokyo in July and then Singapore. The assignment is enormous but fascinating. We have to change the way we do business in climate finance and to achieve that, we are also changing the way we work in the TC.
I am also organising several informal consultations with different regional groups at the Pakistani Mission in New York. The first one is with Small Island Developing States. In addition, I’m considering having similar engagements with civil society stakeholders.
We are now hoping for some positive signals from donor countries for financial commitments for the Green Climate Fund. Such commitments should come about by Durban.
Farrukh Iqbal Khan is the lead negotiator for Pakistan on climate change. He has been the former Chairman of the Adaptation Fund Board. He is now a member of the Transitional Committee of the Green Climate Fund and is currently serving as a counselor to the Pakistani Mission in New York.