Righting two wrongs

Making a new Global Climate Fund work for poor people

Publication date: 6 October 2010

Climate change is already negatively affecting the lives and livelihoods of poor men and women. Yet it is estimated that less than a tenth of climate funds to date have been spent on helping people in vulnerable countries adapt to the impacts of climate change.

The poor are losing out twice: they are hardest hit by climate change they didn’t cause, and they are being neglected by funds that should be helping them. Climate finance can and must be made to work from the bottom up, particularly for women smallholder farmers.

Starting with the formal establishment of a new Global Climate Fund, decisions on climate finance governance need to set a new direction for a post-2012 era. This paper presents a vision for a new Fund and broader finance system that is effective in meeting the scale of developing country financing needs, and is widely considered – by governments and civil societies – to be legitimate in its decision-making.

Key recommendations

  • A new Global Climate Fund must be established at COP 16 in Cancun to operate as a ‘one-stop shop’ for climate finance.
  • Poor governments must be able to directly access the Fund and at least half of the money should be spent helping poor and vulnerable people adapt to a changing climate.
  • A Finance Board must be established to oversee all international flows of finance, including the new Fund and to ensure adaptation and vulnerable countries receive the funding they need.
  • The entire governance structure of the climate finance system should reflect principles of gender equity, including the ambition of equal gender representation on its governing boards and committees.