A review of contested perspectives on climate change finance.
Okem, Andrew Emmanuel.
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There is an overwhelming consensus that climate change is a reality that requires urgent attention through mitigation and adaptation strategies. A slow rise in aggregate funding and investment towards projects which incorporate adaptation with respect to the consequences of climate change or mitigation of the known causes of climate change has occurred globally. This illustrates the increased intention of the public and private sectors to find appropriate interventions which work towards the lowering of carbon emissions or finding ways for the public to adapt their current behaviour to the eminent changes of climate. In this report, we present a critical review of literature on climate change financing. The review engages the meaning, sources and monitoring of the flow of climate finance. We also present discourses on issues related to the evaluation of the social impacts of climate finance on intended beneficiaries. These debates are contextualised in eThekwini Municipality’s approach to climate change adaption and mitigation. We note that there are many concerns regarding climate change finance that require further attention. These issues range from whether or not climate finance should form part of official development assistance (ODA), how funds should be distributed and who should climate change initiatives benefit. These issues could hamper the implementation of many useful strategies and much needed finance could end up funding projects that are not for public benefit. Furthermore, there is a conspicuous absence of appropriate and standard criteria for projects to meet in order to qualify as a climate change initiative. The lack of explicit requirements for projects to provide co-benefits to communities remains an unsettling problem and allows for substantial room for funding of unsuitable and in some cases, non-existent climate change projects. Much work still needs to be done to setup the identification criteria and measurement frameworks to help with issues of transparency, accountability and tracking of climate finance. This is especially needed in developing countries in order to curtail the misuse of climate funds in all tiers of government. There is also an urgent need to create a system that will govern, prescribe and monitor the use of climate funds for the betterment of the eco-systems, non –human species and humans.