- Will the US$30 billion Fast Start promise be kept?
- How will the Secretary General’s Advisory Group on Finance address the long term US$100 billion annual figure?
- Where next on design of the Green Fund?
How these questions will be answered matters a lot―as any delegate at last week’s negotiations in Tianjin would tell you. The answers―especially to question 1―will either build or destroy trust, an essential, but so-far elusive, ingredient to a successful outcome.
Look at the World Resources Institute (WRI) web site and a moderately encouraging picture on Fast Start emerges. Adding the pledges of all individual annex 1 countries and about US$27 billion of the US$30 billion global pledge for 2010-2012 seems to be in the bag, according to WRI. But pledges are the stuff of speeches. In the cold light of day they need to be translated into signed commitments for programs and then actually disbursed. That’s why a new semi-official monitoring system has been created. Led by the Dutch and eight other parties, countries are invited to post their commitments and cash flows on a web site. So far only eight Annex 1 countries have uploaded their detailed commitments, adding to only a small fraction of the US$30 billion. So it’s really important that others quickly follow. In Tianjin the Mexican COP presidency hosted a seminar for negotiators on Fast Start. We agreed that definitional issues are messy, that we will need to iterate toward an accurate picture, and that time is not on our side. I presented the World Bank Group’s understanding, and described our work with finance ministers.