Round up on climate and development finance
Watch the DSA webinar on aligning climate and development finance
There is a misconception that climate action inevitably entails a trade-off with economic development and that lower income-countries should instead focus on poverty reduction. However, it is becoming clear that inaction on climate change undermines and sets back inclusive development and the fight against poverty, and that action on climate change, when structured well, provides considerable benefits and opportunities.
DSA’s recent webinar on climate and development finance demonstrated there is much to be learned and more work needed to explore the potential synergies and collaborations. The panelists brought to life the need for increased access, improved transparency and greater building of trust to create a climate for development actors to work more closely with the climate finance stakeholders.
The moment to align
Will Worley, Editor for the New Humanitarian said there is a real concern with lack of transparency in terms of what countries declare as spending on climate finance. He said there is a clear political appetite for reform of the international architecture – with initiatives such as the Bridgetown agenda gaining a lot of traction.
He added that the intersection of climate and development finance is a new focus and the development and climate community are only starting to come together. Binyam Gebyres from IIED agreed that there is a growing recognition of the synergies, especially when viewed through the lens of the SDGs (both human and environmental).
Eurodad’s Leia Achampong said we need to see climate finance as only part of the solution and it needs to be of a high quality. She pointed out that middle income countries are not eligible for ODA but all countries in the global South need access to climate finance. Leia emphasized the need to see climate finance through a gender lens: it was important that climate finance supports community-based solutions and that we need to collect data on gender responsiveness of climate related ODA. She added that Public Private Partnerships have been shown to increase debt and that World Bank conditionality is also being used by other financial institutions. Some of these conditions result in austerity measures, such as cuts to public services, which impact women more.
Leia said that for development and climate actors to work together there needs to be an understanding of what different communities need for better access to climate finance. Access barriers need to be addressed e.g. the time it takes to complete applications, which are often not translated into local languages, financial exclusion (such as lack of access to bank accounts) or female exclusion when their names are not on the land deeds.
The #ClimateCrisis is indebting women & a lack of access to #Gender-responsive #ClimateFinance is exacerbating inequalities.— Leia says (@LeiaLdn) November 8, 2023
Greater access to climate finance & Engagement of women in decision-making is crucial!
Read more in my new paper for @UN_Women https://t.co/B3GCLAfpZo pic.twitter.com/kIScZinLaB
Climate as the new trade
Charra Tesfaye is Associate Director, Climate Justice at Open Society Foundations and prior to this was Senior Associate in Climate and Trade in the Clean Economy Programme at E3G. He said that climate discussions now bring countries together, where discussion of trade mechanisms previously dominated and that the reform agenda and debt conversation has become part of the climate discussion.
Binyam added that climate adaptation is the poor version of development as it is not getting as much funding as other strands of ODA. He added that we need to think about how countries are classified, for example ensuring war-torn countries are not left behind. He reminded us that the negotiations over Loss and Damage will involve a lot of compromise especially on the part of developing countries and that funds will need to be mobilised quickly.
We’ve compiled a range of resources from our panellists and shared by the audience.
COP and mid-term meetings
- Skilling-up on COP processes A Eurodad toolkit designed for those who are new to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) processes.
- Bonn 2023: Divisions over finance stall mid-year climate meetings. Eurodad’s Leia Achampong, Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer working on climate finance, analyses the Bonn Climate Change Conference.
Eurodad: The European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad) is a civil society network advocating for democratically-controlled, gender-just and human rights-based financial and economic systems:
- Recommendations for the post-2025 global climate finance
- Q & A: The future global climate finance goal (aka NCQG) – what is it, why is it important and what does it entail?
- The post-2025 Climate Finance Goal: why the next expert dialogue must address the issue of debt – Public consultation response
ODI: DSA member ODI is an independent, global think tank, working to inspire people to act on injustice and inequality. Through research, convening and influencing, they generate ideas that matter for people and planet.
- Global Stocktake: we might know where we are, but do we know where we are going?
- Where has the money come from to finance rising climate ambition?
- Barriers to addressing climate change-related losses and damages in low- and middle-income countries
- A fair share of climate finance? The adaptation edition and An appraisal of past performance, future pledges and prospective contributors.
Other climate finance news
The New Humanitarian is the world’s leading publisher of news and analysis about humanitarian needs and responses, including extensive coverage of environmental disasters. It tells the stories of communities living on the front lines of climate change while examining how global policies and global financing affect the most vulnerable.
Some of The New Humanitarian’s recent coverage is listed below to help inform your thinking and conversations around debt justice, climate finance, and climate change’s evolving impact on communities around the world. You can stay up to date and get the latest from The New Humanitarian newsroom by signing up for a weekly newsletter, delivered directly to your inbox every Friday, and by subscribing to its podcast examining the future of crisis response, Rethinking Humanitarianism.
- Will countries hit by climate change finally get payouts? ‘You have one side talking about climate reparations and climate justice, and the other side not even considering that as part of their dictionary.’
- Why international support for Haiti must include climate security. ‘Tackling environmental degradation and climate change impacts on livelihoods must be a priority.’
- ‘It’s all our burden’: Poorest women hardest hit by heatwaves in India. ‘Getting water in this peak heat is even more difficult, especially when I am forced to make water fetching rounds in the afternoon.’
- Emergency aid leaders and donors met in Geneva. Here’s what happened. ‘You can’t humanitarian your way out of this.’
- ‘I poison my children in order to survive’: The terrible toll of Somalia’s drought: ‘I have six children, and this is the only way I can get food.’
- Six dos and six don’ts for tackling the climate emergency: ‘Cash shows the humanitarian system can change, and gives us a playbook for how to make this happen.
- Where debt and crises collide. Debt payments or social services: Some countries have to choose
- Nine must-read stories ahead of the UN’s Climate Ambition Summit. The urgency to cut emissions has never been greater.
The New Humanitarian
- Where debt and crises collide: Debt payments or social services: Some countries have to choose. ‘It’s harder to withstand a disaster when your government spends more on paying down debt than on social services.
- Rethinking Humanitarianism podcast | How a small island nation is leading the charge for more equitable global governance. Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley’s ambitious plan is changing the conversation around debt and disaster relief.
- Riders on the storm – How debt and climate change are threatening the future of small island developing states. This report looks at how debt and climate change are threatening the future of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and suggests calls to action to help tackle these challenges
- A tale of two emergencies – the interplay of sovereign debt and climate crises in the global south. This report focuses on the climate emergency and how it has become a wider focus of policy discussions around debt, as extreme climatic events and environmental hazards increase both the cost of borrowing and the risk of debt crises in countries in the global south that are often already bearing large external debt stocks.
Loss and Damage
UNCTAD’s report on Loss and Damage: Taking responsibility: Towards a fit-for-purpose Loss and Damage Fund, Chapter 3 addresses the issue of innovative sources of finance for Loss and Damage.
Global Fund for Social Protection
ILO: A global fund for social protection: Lessons from the diverse experiences of global health, agriculture and climate funds.
- Accelerating the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all
women and girls by addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and
financing with a gender perspective. Expert report by Leia Achampong.
- No gender justice without climate justice. Iolanda Fresnillo and Leia Achampong report on the new debt crises bringing fresh waves of austerity to the global south – and hitting women hardest.