Climate change signals new and disproportionate obstacles for developing countries. Ilana Solomon, policy analyst at ActionAid USA and co-chair of InterAction’s working group on climate change, is a leading voice in encouraging world leaders to confront these environmental challenges.
“Poor countries and communities across the world are suffering from the impacts of climate change – a crisis which they did little to create,” she said. “With international anti-poverty organization ActionAid USA, I advocate for policies that will help developing countries address the impacts of climate change and transition to clean energy economies.”
Solomon’s commitment to furthering impoverished communities’ interests has rubbed off on policy debates in Washington, according to Neil Watkins, director of policy and campaigns for ActionAid USA.
“I think it’s been a willingness to push for the inclusion of key ideas, even if they aren’t in political vogue at the moment, and her willingness to be persistent and strategic in building coalitions and champions to put important new ideas on the agenda,” Watkins said.
Solomon’s advocacy for a global climate fund, for example, helped to secure support from the U.S. government for more democratic and accountable climate adaptation financing mechanisms. In December, Solomon will discuss lessons learned from past climate funds and put forth ActionAid’s proposal for a new fund at the 16th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Cancun, Mexico.
To overcome “the perception that one cannot ‘send money overseas’ in times of economic hardship,” Solomon has been working with colleagues to advocate for new national budget-friendly ways to generate public financing for climate change.
A discussion paper Solomon co-authored on bolstering resources for mitigating climate change with special drawing rights and reserve assets issued by the International Monetary Fund has become one of civil society’s foremost sources for this promising strategy.
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