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On managing climate change financing (a new paper in Science by Donner, Kandlikar and Zerriffi)

Blue Skies Leaving Kota Kinabalu..

photo credit: thienzieyung

While climate change isn’t really very directly my area of expertise, most of the scholarly research I undertake has deals with public service delivery decisions, budget allocations and policy choices under multiple constraints. Determining where to allocate scarce funds within the domestic policy arena is hard enough, one can only imagine the multiple degrees and layers of complexity that addressing climate change brings along.

I just learned of a new Policy Forum paper by my colleagues at UBC Simon Donner, Milind Kandlikar and Hisham Zerriffi where they address these questions. Donner et al indicate that mechanisms should be implemented to ensure that the funding goes to critical areas to tackle the most pressing challenges.

You can read the Policy Forum abstract of Donner, Kandlikar and Zerriffi (2011) here:

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. 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

My own research has used integrated assessment (a set of heuristics to integrate multiple disciplines to provide policy-makers with robust suggestions on policy decisions) to address issues of industrial restructuring. One of the tenets of integrated assessment is to focus on where resources can be better spent so maximum effectiveness can be attained with the least investment.

In their paper, Donner, Kandlikar and Zerriffi have sought to spell out sound policy recommendations on how financing should occur. From the media release at UBC:

Donner, Kandlikar and Zerriffi provide specific recommendations for ensuring that countries meet the funding commitment, that waste and misappropriation are minimized and that money is directed to the most effective programs. These guidelines include instituting an “adaptive” regulatory system to close funding loopholes, employing a decentralized network of third-party auditors and adopting a scientific approach to evaluating program effectiveness.

It will be very interesting to see if policy-makers and participants in COP 17 in Durban will listen to the sound advice of these UBC scholars.

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Posted in bridging academia and practice, environmental policy, policy instruments.

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