Experts Emphasize Need for ‘New’ Climate Finance

Climate change causes the glaciers in the Alps in Switzerland to rapidly decrease. Photo by: Jean-Marc Ferré / UN

How should the billions of dollars expected to be poured into a green fund for developing countries be managed to ensure they successfully help poor countries prepare for the effects of climate change? Three climate scientists from the University of British Columbia have outlined a few recommendations.

In a paper published in the Science journal, Simon Donner, a climate scientist from the University of British Columbia, argued that if the fund is not managed well “we could waste a lot of money and a lot of people could not get the aid they need.”

Donner and his two colleagues offered three suggestions on how the money should be managed: continue ongoing independent reviews to determine if climate finance pledged by a donor is new, appoint independent auditors to oversee spending and use scientific methods to identify projects.

On the first recommendation, the three stressed that donors should commit or provide fresh climate finance instead of shifting money they already committed for other projects or sectors and passing it off as new funds for climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts, the Agence France-Presse says.

Delegates to the U.N.-backed climate change conference to be held Nov. 28 in Durban, South Africa, are expected to tackle the $100 billion annual fund that was created in the 2010 climate summit in Mexico. The fund is set to be accessible starting 2020 and targets developing countries’ climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts. Donors also pledged to fast-track some $30 billion in climate finance by 2012.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has repeatedly urged countries attending the Durban conference to launch the fund and provide sufficient financing for it.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.