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Shaping policy for development

An overview of Lagoro IDP camp in Kitgum District, northern Uganda, 20 May 2007. Manoocher Deghati/IRIN
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ODI On... United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 17th Conference of the Parties

28 November - 9 December 2011

This year's Durban Climate Change Conference faces a challenging agenda. There are major discussions to be had to advance global efforts on mitigation, adaptation, technology transfer and capacity-building, and last, but not least, on finance. There is much to play for and ODI is contributing by putting forward new research and analysis on two key areas of our wider climate change agenda.


Climate finance in Sub-Saharan Africa

Publication - Briefing papers - 23 November 2012
Smita Nakhooda, Alice Caravani, Neil Bird, ODI and Liane Schalatek, Heinrich Böll Stiftung
This policy brief reviews general trends in African climate finance. It considers the key actors in the region and their evolving role in negotiations over the global architecture for climate finance, and finds that funding that is currently delivered is far from fulfilling the demonstrated needs of SSA.

Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review (CPEIR): a methodological note

Publication - Research reports and studies - 1 August 2012
Neil Bird, Thomas Beloe, Merylyn Hedger, Joyce Lee, Kit Nicholson, Mark O’Donnell, Sudha Gooty, Alex Heikens, Paul Steele, Angus Mackay and Mark Miller
Building on case studies in Nepal and Bangladesh, this report further develops the metholodogy of the Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review (CPEIR) for use in further South-East Asia case studies in 2012 and outlines how climate change-related expenditures are integrated into national budgetary processes.

REDD+ finance: More than a numbers game

Opinion - Articles and blogs - 9 December 2011
'Given that the issue of REDD+ finance is a crucial one, how can it progress in the absence of solid progress in Durban? Finance needs will be diverse, and depend on how a country is going to implement REDD+, what other goals they are also pursuing through REDD+(such as poverty alleviation), how ‘ready’ they are, and their existing multilateral and bilateral relationships with development partners.'
Neil Bird

Climate conversations - forget Durban: climate change action is happening on the ground

Opinion - Articles and blogs - 8 December 2011
'Perhaps what we have learned most over the past decade is that global negotiations take on a life of their own and, at worse, appear little more than a self-serving exercise. And yet there is action taking place - just not in Durban. It is taking place in many countries, both developed and developing, where people realise the importance of local action and where governments offer national leadership.'

Mobilising climate finance: a few fundamentals to consider

Opinion - Articles and blogs - 8 December 2011

Coming up with the finance to support developing countries to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts is a central focus of the UNFCCC negotiations underway in Durban this week. Getting developed countries to pay up will be difficult at this time, considering they face severe financial and economic constraints – most recently exacerbated by the eurozone crisis. Climate Funds Update (CFU), a

Children in Forest Ghana
Children in Forest Ghana

Children in a Forest in Ghana
License: Creative Commons
Credit: stignygaard
Source: Flickr

Synergies and tradeoffs between mitigation and adaptation: the case of forests

Event - Side event - 2 December 2011 22:15 - 23:45 (GMT+02)

Forests are managed for mitigation (REDD+) and adaptation goals. This event will draw out synergies and tradeoffs of achieving these goals, focusing on experiences of national policy and local implementation in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Katie Peters

Climate and conflict-affected states - last in line for climate finance?

Opinion - Articles and blogs - 2 December 2011

The IPCC report ‘Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation’ (SREX) released on 18 November 2011, rightly places strong emphasis on the links between climate change adaptation and disaster risk management, yet we know very little about what this means in practical terms for conflict-affected and fragile (CAF) states. A simple comparison of climate

Neil Bird

Common challenges in climate finance delivery and new demands within different country settings

Opinion - Articles and blogs - 1 December 2011

The world is an incredibly diverse place and the efforts of the UNFCCC to reach a common understanding regarding a way forward on global climate change needs to be seen in that light. This week at the Durban COP we are seeing this diversity play out both within the negotiating auditorium as well as at a succession of side events in the adjacent building. The challenge is how to accommodate this diversity of view within a framework agreement that all countries can support.

The fundamentals of climate finance

Publication - Articles and blogs - 1 December 2011
Smita Nakhooda introduces the updated Climate Finance Fundamentals publication series, released for the COP in Durban on Climate Funds Update. The series offers short, introductory briefings on various aspects of climate finance.
Flooding in Hanoi
Flooding in Hanoi

Two Hanoi residents stand on a doorstep to avoid flooding in Vietnam, 1998
License: Creative Commons
Credit: shapeshift
Source: Flickr

Global climate financing: how effective is it at the country level?

Event - Side event - 29 November 2011 17:00 - 18:30 (GMT+02)

How can international climate finance strengthen the national response to climate change?  What is needed? Based on both research and implementation experience, this meeting will explore the issues relating to how climate change finance is being integrated into national budgetary systems.  Panellists will discuss the key challenges in spending, monitoring and policy setting for climate finance across a range of different country settings.

REDD+ finance delivery: lessons from early experience

Publication - Briefing papers - 29 November 2011
Anna Creed and Smita Nakhooda
Delivering REDD+ finance has taken more preparatory work, capacity and tailoring than initially envisaged. Multilateral institutions financing REDD+ have made significant progress, and experience to date will inform and facilitate future implementation. Alongside this, Annex II countries are providing increasing volumes of finance through bilateral channels. There remains very little transparency around these bilateral arrangements. It is essential to ensure that the lessons learned through experience with multilateral institutions and participating stakeholders inform bilateral financing. The large number of multilateral and bilateral engagements in forest countries creates major coordination challenges. There is an urgent need for more capacity and expertise on the implementation and management of REDD+ within contributor countries, recipient countries, and intermediaries. Creating and maintaining momentum to implement REDD+ requires credible commitments of long-term finance from Annex II countries. Finance should be directed to REDD+ strategies with political buy-in and stakeholder support. Early experience demonstrates the difficulty of balancing core objectives. For example, speedy disbursement through streamlined processes can conflict with the need for rigorous due diligence and comprehensive application of safeguards. Similarly, there are tensions between national ownership, sovereignty, and contributor country input. If REDD+ is to be sustainable, it will need to deliver real development benefits equitably at the individual as well as the country level. With limited public resources available, Annex II countries are trying to balance climate and development objectives, and most REDD+ finance is directed through development assistance budgets. The use of ODA budgets to deliver climate finance has been questioned, but this approach does provide the opportunity to support integrated solutions if potential trade-offs between co-benefits can be navigated.

Direct access to climate finance: experiences and lessons learned

Publication - Discussion papers - 28 November 2011
Neil Bird, Simon Billett, Cristina Colόn
This paper provides an overview of the concept of direct access to funding for climate change actions in developing countries. It focuses on the institutional arrangements that are necessary to facilitate and support direct access and is intended to inform the current and future discussions on direct access modalities, including within the design process for the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
People flooded village rural Mozambique
People flooded village rural Mozambique

People walk through flooded village in rural Mozambique
License: Creative Commons
Credit: TheHumanitarianCoaliton.ca
Source: Flickr

Managing disasters in a changing climate: Introducing the IPCC ‘Special Report on Extreme Events’

Event - Public event - 24 November 2011 13:00 - 14:30 (GMT+00)

Coming only days before the start of the Durban climate change negotiations, this event will examine findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX).Written over two years and involving nearly 200 authors and many hundreds of reviewers, the report provides a unique insight into the future of disasters in a changing climate and ways governments and societies might respond.

Improving the effectiveness of climate finance: key lessons

Publication - Research reports and studies - 23 November 2011
Miriam Chaum, Chris Faris, Gernot Wagner, Barbara Buchner, Angela Falconer, Chiara Trabacchi, Jessica Brown, and Katherine Sierra
This paper presents a summary of the key findings from a literature review which explored tools and methods being used to estimate, measure, monitor, and disseminate the impact of climate finance. It seeks to discern lessons for policymakers by addressing two key questions: What makes climate finance effective? and What tools, methods, or systems might improve the effectiveness of climate finance?

Exploring the impact of climate change on children in South Africa

Publication - Research reports and studies - 19 November 2011
Lindsey Jones, Patricia Martin, Paola Pereznieto, and Sarah Standley
The study highlights the likely impact of climate change on children’s health, education, nutrition, safety and access to adequate housing and sanitation in South Africa – both directly and indirectly. The study presents a body of evidence that South Africa’s climate is already changing.

Harnessing the private sector: learning the lessons from the Climate Investment Funds experience

Opinion - Articles and blogs - 15 November 2011
By Smita Nakhooda and Shelagh Whitley

How do we harness the expertise, competencies, and capital of the private sector in a response to climate change?  This question is central to global efforts to mobilise finance to help developing countries reduce emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. It will also be a key issue in the design of the Green Climate Fund at the upcoming UN climate conference in Durban.

REDD-net blog

Opinion - Articles and blogs

REDD-net is the hub for knowledge sharing and resources on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+). Aimed at southern civil society organisations and practitioners in REDD, you can find the latest information on REDD, share your experiences and use the resources available to help build pro-poor REDD projects and policies. To find out more about REDD-net and to visit the website, click here.

Climate Finance Fundamentals

Publication - Research reports and studies

This series of short, introductory briefings on various aspects of climate finance aim to develop a better understanding of the quantity and quality of financial flows going to developing countries.


The Durban Climate Change Conference will be the 17th Conference of the Parties (CoP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This year, the meeting faces a challenging agenda to build on the well received conference in Cancun in 2010. There are major discussions to be had to advance global efforts on mitigation, adaptation, technology transfer and capacity-building, and last, but not least, on finance. There is much to play for and ODI is contributing by putting forward new research and analysis on two key areas of our wider climate change agenda.

Firstly, much more needs to be done on climate finance at the international level to improve the transparency of funding flows. ODI hosts Climate Funds Update that continues to track the very latest developments in this area.  A greater understanding of the challenges facing national-level delivery is also emerging and ODI’s flagship side event at CoP17 will discuss this experience.

Secondly, the negotiating agenda on adaptation and resilience includes addressing the way expertise can be accessed by countries, taking the next steps in national adaptation planning, and considering ways to channel resources to countries impacted by climate extremes. ODI’s contribution to the IPCC Special Report on Extremes, and involvement in a set of events and launches in Durban makes this an exciting time for our expanding work in this area.

ODI will also be leading and participating in a number of events through the Climate and Development Knowledge Network and REDD-net. If you are in Durban, please come and visit ODI at our stall in the conference centre.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
Climate and Environment