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News New Paper in Science on Climate Change Financing

At the 2010 Cancun Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the international community agreed in principle to one of the largest development programs in history. The developed nations pledged to mobilize U.S.$100 billion per year by the year 2020 to “address the needs of developing countries” in responding to climate change (1). The funds, which may apply to adaptation and mitigation, are proposed to flow through multiple channels, including existing development banks, official development assistance, bilateral programs, international private investment flows (e.g., carbon markets), and other public and private mechanisms. Recommendations provided by a transitional committee for the management and operation of the proposed climate change financing will be considered by the parties to the UNFCCC at the upcoming conference in Durban, South Africa (2).

At the center of this climate finance system will be a new international Green Climate Fund (GCF), which is in charge of the initial U.S.$30 billion in fast-track financing, to be raised by 2012, and a “significant” yet undetermined fraction of the eventual U.S.$100 billion per year (1). In designing the GCF, the UNFCCC must heed the lessons of past international development failures and successes to build the capacity of the international institutions and recipient countries to mobilize and manage climate funds and to set a good precedent for other institutions involved in climate change financing.



Supporting Online Material

References and Notes

  1.  UNFCCC, Outcome of the Work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action Under the Convention (2011);
  2.  UNFCCC, Report of the Transitional Committee for the Design of the Green Climate Fund (2011);
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    2. S. Narain
    , Global Warming in an Unequal World: A Case of Environmental Colonialism(Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi, 1991).
    1. M. Parry
    , Assessing the Costs of Adaptation to Climate Change (International Institute for Environment and Development, London, 2009).
    1. R. K. Fleck, 
    2. C. Kilby
    J. Dev. Econ. 91, 185 (2010). CrossRefWeb of Science
  6.  World Resources Institute, Summary of Developed Country ‘Fast-Start’ Climate Finance Pledges (2011);
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    Nature 445, 595 (2007). CrossRefMedline
    1. D. Kaniaru
    , The Montreal Protocol (Cameron May, London, 2007).
    1. J. Stirrat
    Anthropol. Today 22, 11 (2006). CrossRef
    1. J. Svensson
    , in Reinventing Foreign Aid, W. Easterly , Ed. (MIT Press, 2008), pp. 311–332.
  11.  OECD, 2005 Development Co-operation Report, Vol. 7, No. 1 (OECD, Paris, 2006).
  12.  GAO, Citizens' Report (2009);
    1. R. Levine, 
    2. W. Easterly
    Testimony before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Hearing on Multilateral Development Banks (U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2006).
    1. C. Droggitis, 
    2. W. D. Savedoff
    , Measuring Impact: Lessons from the MCC for the Broader Impact Evaluation Community (Center for Global Development, Washington, 2011).
    1. W. Easterly
    J. Econ. Lit. 47, 373 (2009). CrossRefWeb of Science
    1. A. V. Banerjee, 
    2. E. Duflo
    , Poor Economics (Public Affairs, New York, 2011).
    1. J. Cohen, 
    2. P. Dupas
    Q. J. Econ. 125, 1 (2010). CrossRefWeb of Science
    1. B. K. Sovacool
    Clim. Policy 11, 1177 (2011). Web of Science

Contact information Simon Donner (email:
News type Inbrief
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Keyword(s) Climate Change Financing
Geographical coverage n/a
News date 05/12/2011
Working language(s) ENGLISH