14 December 2012
SIDA backs novel climate finance approach
From hurricanes in New York to deadly typhoons in the Philippines, people world-wide are witnessing the devastating human and financial cost of more frequent and severe weather events. While the global debate continues on how to foot the bill to help developing countries deal with this new reality, Asia-Pacific nations are taking a new approach to finding much-needed funds. This unique effort recently got a $4.6 million dollar boost from the Swedish International Development Cooperation (SIDA).
With technical assistance from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Ministries of Finance, Environment and other relevant institutions came together in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Nepal, Samoa and Thailand to review their national budgets. They identified those allocations that relate to climate change. The exercise helped relevant ministries engage on the question of how to better use existing funds and future resources to build climate resilient roads, bridges, schools and other vital infrastructure to prevent losses tomorrow.
For example, the exercise in Nepal signalled the need to channel more funds to local agencies that are better placed to deal with climate challenges, rather than continue to channel most of the resources to national authorities. Likewise a number of countries are developing climate related budget codes to track climate finance.
Climate relevant expenditures are estimated to constitute between 3%-15% of the total budget across these countries. These levels of domestic finance far exceed current and projected international public provisions of finance for climate change.
Having a clear oversight of how public finance is being used to meet the challenges of climate change today puts these governments in a stronger position to seek additional and much-needed resources from international donors and funds. It also means greater accountability and transparency for citizens who wish to know how their governments are responding to the challenge of climate change and helping vulnerable populations.
The timely SIDA contribution will enable four countries, including Cambodia and Thailand, to follow-up on the recommendations that came out of their review exercises, which ultimately means people will be better able to face the challenge of climate change.