The developed world’s loaded gun

Saleemul Huq of the International Institute for Environment and Development has a clear message for developed nations: listen to developing nations concerns on climate finance. Speaking at an event hosted by the Foundation for International Law and Development in London last night, he said that developed nations had “a loaded gun pointed at their own foot” and risked angering developing nations by ignoring concerns about double-counting of finance for adaptation to climate change.

Developing nations, he said, were also very wary of funds channelled through traditional disbursement mechanisms like the World Bank and national government agencies. Money should be channelled through institutions that allow developing nations a say over how it is spent, he argued, because climate finance is not aid.

Alex MacGillivray of AccountAbility, also speaking at the event, suggested that developed nations might be shooting themselves somewhere even more painful if they failed to meet their pledges for adaptation finance.

However he went on to add that the amount of money is not the only issue. Finance for adaptation needs to be spent effectively and transparently, he said, to avoid scandals like those that have undermined the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism, which provides finance for climat- change mitigation.