by Joseph Siegel

Dec. 2, 2010– Access to the official negotiations for non-party NGO observers (like me) is becoming more restricted as the week progresses. There are few remaining open meetings, and space for NGO observers in those meetings is quite limited. However, I managed to find a prime two-square- foot patch of floor space in the limited area set aside for non-party observers at an official session of the Kyoto Protocol Adaptation Fund Board. This session was part of the 6th Meeting of the Parties (“CMP”)to the Kyoto Protocol, which is held simultaneously with COP-16, the 16th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC. The purpose of the session was to negotiate a draft decision under the Kyoto Protocol related to the governance of the Adaptation Fund by the Adaptation Fund Board. The Adaptation Fund was established under the Kyoto Protocol to finance concrete adaptation programs in developing countries particularly vulnerable to climate change.

Members of the G-77 and the Alliance of Small Island States (“AOSIS”) pointed to the inadequacy of the Adaptation Fund in meeting the adaptation needs of developing countries. They also highlighted the difficult process for obtaining financing under the fund. The Adaptation Fund financing comes from a 2% levy on the value of the emission reduction credits derived from projects under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The CDM allows developed countries to receive credit toward their emission reduction obligations by supporting projects in developing countries.

The 2% levy is the primary mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol for funding adaptation in developing countries. It is woefully inadequate. As of November 2010, only $200 Million had been deposited in the Adaptation Fund, see . The World Bank estimates that between $70-100 Billion per year is needed to support adaptation in developing countries between now and 2050, see The nonbinding Copenhagen Accord, which was the product of last year’s COP, included pledges from developed countries of $30 Billion in “fast start” money over three years to fund adaptation and mitigation. The Accord also includes a goal of reaching $100 Billion per year by 2020. However, it remains to be seen how the Copenhagen Accord will be integrated into a binding agreement under the two negotiating tracks being considered here in Cancun.