Climate Change and International Development Justice

Oxfam have just released a report called Climate Fiscal Cliff; evaluation of the fast start finance programme which is another indictment on this Government’s lack of commitment to human rights and climate justice.

One of the few hopeful things to come out of Copenhagen three years ago was a commitment from developed countries to commit $100billion per year by 2010 to help low income countries to reduce their emissions and adapt to climate change to prevent the worst impacts.

To allay the perception that this might be another empty pledge that they would not follow through on agreed to make a down payment of $30billion before 2012 to be called the Fast Start Finance.

This was an incredibly important step for many reasons – one it would actually help the low income countries avert some disasters through effective adaptation, two it would be a sign of good faith by high income countries that could break the gridlock in negotiations that centered around equity.

Sadly the Oxfam’s research shows only 33% of fast start finance appears to be new money, and only 24% of public finance was additional to existing aid promises, and only 21% went to adaptation.

New Zealand pledged $30 million each year from 2010-2012

We have met this target as part of the aid programme and part of the aid appropriation. The funds for climate change are being diverted from other development priorities. This was not the agreement in Copenhagen.  The commitment wasn’t to take vital funds tagged for development in the Pacific into climate action. That is not  a sign of good faith.

New Zealand’s aid programme is primarily spent in the Pacific, an area that clearly needs a lot of assistance with adaptation, considering sea level rise, increase in extreme weather events, and the loss of fresh water. It is very sad and very short sighted to see us avoiding our responsibilities.

New Zealand, and other political leaders, need to work with urgency to increase new climate finance in Doha. 

This includes genuinely considering new income streams, such as a scheme to reduce shipping emissions or new taxes on financial transactions in order to generate revenue for the Green Climate Fund.

10 Comments Posted

  1. Sorry Alwyn, but your financial expertise is failing you spectacularly. In the FIRST place the intention IS to create some inflation… to persuade the dollar to drop in value making our products more competitive. The very limited amount of tickle that Dr Norman proposed is actually not likely to do enough to inflate things here.

    You haven’t got a clue about money… do you. Where DOES it come from? I do want to hear you give an answer that isn’t exactly the same as having someone just print it.

    “He was going to create new money and use it to rebuild the EQC reseverves of overseas assets wasn’t he?” Which has WHAT effect on the amount of money actually in circulation? … and the assets are the property of NZ, not of someone else. Funny how that works.

    The money for the Christchurch rebuild has to come from taxes or from borrowing. Borrowing from ourselves is a whole lot smarter than borrowing from banks. Where do you think THEY get their money from? When we sign on for the debt they PRINT it… only THEY charge US interest for the privilege of letting them do the printing.

    …and lest you think this is related somehow to social credit… (how anyone can fit so much error into so few words I have no idea), you probably ought to check out the ideas of these wacky notable socialists…

  2. bjchip @ 4.16pm.
    I did look at what Russell Norman was proposing and “printing money” is a perfectly fair way to describe it.
    Of course it is not possible to print money for export. It is, in fact, possible to just print money locally. It will of course set of inflation, and if you print as mich as Norman was proposing quite spectacular inflation.
    Russell Norman was proposing to do both forms of money creation. He was going to create new money and use it to rebuild the EQC reseverves of overseas assets wasn’t he? That implies he thinks he can create money and use it, without cost, to buy overseas assets. This can only be interpreted that he thinks he can create cost free foreign money.
    He was also going to create money to pay for the Christchurch rebuild. Clearly he thinks he can create costfree New Zealand money.
    It is not me you have to persuade that his ideas are crazy. It is Norman.

  3. Roman – I suggest that you stop trolling here. Maybe you ought to ACTUALLY read some of the peer reviewed work, as opposed to some idiots blog opinion of what it said or didn’t say.

    The problem under discussion is financial and the answer is that the developed world has to “transfer wealth” to the developing world to allow them to do anything at all. Whether they are going to get to do anything is another debate but for them to do it there has to be money.

    IF everyone’s wealth were increasing (and it isn’t doing that because of the fraudulent monetary system and the shonky banks) there would be a possibility of doing it without actually transferring wealth. We can’t do it by cheating – that is, we can’t take away one form of support, hand them another and call it an increase.

    Nor Alwyn, is it possible for us to “print money” for export. Nor is it possible for us to JUST print money… never was. I suggest that you need to look a lot more closely at the financial instruments that Dr Norman proposed because they bear no resemblance to Social Credit or simple printing of money. To call your comment wrong would be an exaggeration of its correctness.

  4. Of course there is an obvious innovative source of finance. Russell Norman has already proposed it. Just print the darn stuff.

    Actually, that is an innovative idea. Oxfam can just tell those countries that it proposes redistributing money to to print the damned stuff themselves. Problem solved.

  5. dbuckley @ 2.55pm
    Of course there is an obvious innovative source of finance.
    Russell Norman has already proposed it. Just print the darn stuff.
    (On second thoughts I suppose he owes the idea to Major Douglas of Social Credit fame and it wasn’t original)

  6. I feel the need to comment extensively on this, but can’t without it becoming essentially an ad hominim (or ad wominim) attack, so I’ll bite my lip.

    But be assured, there is steam rising.

    Safe comment: The Oxfam report says “If developed countries fail to agree a clear trajectory of financing to 2020, and if they fail to mobilize new innovative sources of finance in addition to their national budgets…”

    If someone has some “innovative sources of finance”, I’d love to hear about them. But as a clue: more taxation, dressed up in any manner whatsoever is not innovative.

  7. “considering sea level rise, increase in extreme weather events”

    Sea level rise is about 2-3 mm per year.Is that a problem? Hurricane activity has actually reduced.
    You guys need to catch up on the latest Peer Reviewed Research. Theres plenty out there. Change the blogs you’re reading perhaps….

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