Climate change funding "getting stuck"
Development Consultant says climate change funding "getting stuck"
Accessing climate change finance has been likened to negotiating a bowl of spaghetti by an independent development consultant.
New Zealand consultant Sarah Meads told Jo O'Brien the application criteria for accessing money from climate funds and multilateral organisations is incredibly complex for small developing Pacific states with limited resources.
SARAH MEADS: That complexity is meaning that climate finance is getting stuck it is not flowing to those who need it most. Is there a problem with finance going through external agencies rather than directly to countries. There is a real push for direct access and that has been identified by many players Pacific leaders have been calling for that for some time but that relies on having the capacity at country level. To be able to have the right fiduciary management in place, the right institutional capacity, the ability to have plans. Some aid is from government to government and that means it is more direct. Sometimes it is through tendering or putting in an application to a funding group like the new green climate fund and there you are competing with other countries so it is getting countries ready so that they are able to put good applications forward and putting funding towards supporting capacity building at government level is a really important part of the whole climate financing challenge.
JO O'BRIEN: Is there a risk though that money and time get caught up in making applications forming plans rather than actually addressing the problem on the ground?
SM: That is a really good point and what is needed is investment and support at many levels. Because climate change happens globally but the impacts are very local and we need support and capacity building for all parts of society not just government to enable everybody to play their part in adaptation and building resilience in the community to climate change.
JO: So are there any changes you would like to see to the way this climate change financing is allocated across the Pacific?
SM: Funding continues to be in some instances, driven by donors rather than country owned and there is a preference by donors to identify projects. Whereas adaptation at community level needs long term investment. So when projects start to become more dominating, it means that governments and their communities are really forced into that donor driven mode.
JO: So what would be your overall assessment of how that money is working or not working at the moment?
SM: In the last few years there is more climate finance. It may be that some of that finance is recycled overseas development aid which is not ideal. But there is the need to develop capacity at all levels to be able to channel that through to where it is needed most. There is a need for greater collaboration between the donors, governments and their own communities. There is a need to depend the approach of mainstreaming climate change into national plans and regional plans.
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