Report: International Finance for Climate Change Workshop

Categories: Category “Finance for Development (Category “Working Groups)

08 Dec 2010

UNICRI and CeSPI are coordinating a research initiative on “Assessing the Implications of Climate Change on Security Governance”. In this framework, a workshop was organized in Rome, 22 July 2010.

The event is a follow up of a first international brainstorming meeting on International Finance for Addressing the Nexus Between Climate Change and Security Governance held in Rome  on the 17th of May 2010.

Participants in the meeting included Carol Jimenez (UNICRI), Jessica Brown (ODI), Aaron Atteridge (SEI), Marco Zupi, Alberto Mazzali, Anna Ozorio, Silvia Aprile and Lorenzo Coslovi (CeSPI). However, the meeting was the result of a much wider networking on the issues of finance for climate change and linkages with security which included the members of the Working Group on Finance for Development of the European Association of Development Research and Training Institute- EADI (Lars Holstenkamp, Imed Drine, Peter Wolff), the Society for International Development- SID (Arthur Muliro), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change- <//span>UNFCCC (Festus Luboyera), the Campagna per la Riforma per la Banca Mondiale- CRBM (Antonio Tricarico and Elena Gerebizza), as well as the Italian Ministry for the Environment (Margherita Vitale) and other Italian institutions.

The meeting was organized in two sessions. The first focused on “Funding for climate change and opportunities for matching public and private resources” and was centered on the presentations of Jessica Brown and Aaron Atteridge. The second focused on “Finance for climate change and the capacity to address complex security risks associated with climate change” and was centered on the presentation of Alberto Mazzali.

Main points of the Discussion

The presentations prepared by Jessica Brown, Aaron Atteridge and Alberto Mazzali and which provided very interesting inputs to the discussion and are briefly summed up below.

Finance for climate change: assessing public and private approaches and opportunities for matching resources.

Aaron Atteridge's presentation focused on mapping out different sources of finance for climate change, with particular attention to bilateral finance. Some interesting ideas which emerged during the presentation and discussion are:

  • Climate change finance is constituted not only by earmarked funds but other flows such as Overseas Development Assistance and private investments which can affect mitigation and adaptation. Adaptation in particular should be targeted to fill in the gaps left out by other flows, which implies that all flows and their impacts should be well mapped out.
  • Another issue regards the definition of the concept of adaptation, especially as far as the private sector is concerned. For Jessica Brown, adaptation is "development with harsher challenges".
  • Still regarding the role of the private sector in adaptation activities, it is important to distinguish between CSR and the core business of firms.

Jessica Brown's presentation concentrated on the difficulties in tracking climate funds (due to lack of data, differences between pledges and deposits, problems with OECD markers), the need to create new and predictable resource mobilization mechanisms for climate change and the definition of the additionality of climate change funds regarding other funds. The discussion focused on:

  • Limits and weaknesses of the present system of  the finance for climate change (voluntary, fragmented, un-coordinated, donor-driven, lack of programmatic approach);
  • The  framework for delivering climate change related financing (the inclusion, separation or mix between ODA and climate change financing).
  • The opportunities for private sector initiatives analyzing their potentialities and limits.

Finance for climate change and complex security risks

Alberto Mazzali's presentation focused on the nexus between environment and security and the potential for the concept of vulnerability to guide climate change finance. Some points which emerged in the discussion were:

  • Both climate change and climate change policies can create security threats;
  • When exploring the nexus with  climate change the concept of security should be rediscussed and conceptualized;
  • Whether the concept of security can be considered to relate to the different dimensions of vulnerability or if it is a single element which represents vulnerability to conflict and violence in a wider matrix called "adaptive capacity";
  • The need to further develop indicators on vulnerability to climate change to better target countries/communities that lack  adaptive capacity  to face climate change)
  • The need to define the relation between (lack of) security and (lack of) adaptive capacity. Climate change may not cause conflict but conflict may render adaptation to climate change more difficult and communities more vulnerable.
  • The local nature of climate change risks and the ideal way to target (global) climate finance to local adaptation initiatives.

Proposed Follow-Ups

The meeting wound up with a discussion on how to follow the different leads which emerged during the workshop, in line with both the CeSPI -Unicri initiative and agenda of the EADI Working group on finance for development.

In the framework of the initiative on climate change and security, CeSPI and UNICRI intend to set up a project for research and capacity building focused in East-Africa, the Feasibility Study for a Pilot Initiative for Capacity Building and Research-Action in East Africa.

Participants in the meeting as well as members of the wider network on finance for climate change, and particularly those in the EADI working group, were invited to engage in an effort towards deeper networking, elaborating common project proposals and preparing a specific panel on "Finance for Climate Change and Complex Risks" during the EADI General Conference, which will take place in the United Kingdom in September 2011.

As regards proposals for further research and project elaboration, those which emerged in the meeting include:

  • Further refine the concept of security associated to climate change;
  • Strengthen and develop a  finance for development approach to climate change, engaging with other technical expertise such as development banks, etc.
  • Engage with the private sector and networking with companies on research for the environment.
  • Further research on the absorption capacities of countries receiving funds for climate change.
  • Continue and refine work on matrix of vulnerabilities; carry out comparisons among different countries to create a matrix which adequately reflects existence of or potential for conflict.

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