Making finance work for low-carbon and climate resilient development
SEI’s work on international finance and sustainable development has previously focused on the effectiveness, efficiency and fairness of the international climate finance regime, i.e. the mobilisation of international funding on the ground in developing countries to help address climate change.
While this remains an important focus, we also recognise that climate finance – and even the broader flows of Official Development Assistance – represent only a tiny fraction of global financial flows and investments. To really evaluate whether climate finance and ODA are effective in helping countries to prepare for climate change and pursue sustainable development, we also need to understand the behaviour and impacts of much larger flows of finance in the mainstream economy.
Thus, SEI’s work on finance also looks beyond the climate finance agenda, at how the global financial system at large either supports or undermines the societal transitions needed to achieve the goals of sustainable development.
There are some observable shifts in finance that might facilitate incremental steps towards sustainable development, such as a growth in green bonds, large-scale investments in renewable energy and transport systems, high profile campaigns by large institutional investors to divest from fossil fuels, as well as commitments in the G20 to remove fossil fuel subsidies.
But we also know that large volumes of finance continue to undermine the climate change agenda, such as ongoing investments in fossil fuel assets. This raises questions about how well aligned the global financial system actually is with the pursuit globally of sustainable development.
We are centrally interested in the way finance is supporting or undermining the transition to low carbon and climate resilient development, and particularly from the perspective of developing countries. Our work on finance is structured around three inter-related themes:
- The effectiveness of international climate and development finance for developing countries, and ways it might be made more effective and more responsive to the needs of, particularly, the most vulnerable.
- The patterns in mainstream finance that either support or work against the goals of international climate and development finance, including the potential for expanding appetite among mainstream investors so that finance might catalyse the structural transitions needed to achieve sustainable development globally; and
- The effect that financial markets themselves, including issues like increasing “financialisation”, have on global investment patterns and how they influence sustainable development.
In 2010–2014, a total of US$748 million in official development assistance focused on responding to climate change flowed to the 15 nations, mainly bilaterally.
A new interactive tool shows how countries address priorities in their nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement.
The ASEAN countries are looking to scale up and diversify their efforts to build resilience in the agriculture sector.
To realize the ambitions of the Paris Agreement and SDGs we need to “reboot” the finance sector to steer investment onto a low-carbon, sustainable pathway.
Wealthy governments risk inflating the private sector’s contribution to a USD 100 billion target to climate-proof developing countries.
- Research Fellow
Municipal financing could increase debt availability for rooftop solar in India by 12%
This report analyses concessional international public flows of climate finance to Indian Ocean and African Small Island Developing States
Analysis of the performance of the Green Climate Fund, and discussion of whether least developed countries can depend on it
As connections between people and places intensify, it seems likely that adaptation responses might shift risks and vulnerability between people and places
Determining the amount of climate finance received by each developing country is a difficult task. The Biennial Update Reports should provide information
With slow-onset events like sea-level rise and drought threatening farmers in the Mekong Delta, the search is on for policies that can protect farmers
Southeast Asia depends on climate adaptation finance to lessen the impact of a warming world on its people and economies. Yet there are barriers to delivery
Not all countries have equal capacity to adapt. It is critical that the Paris Agreement’s capacity building provisions are implemented successfully
Summary of research done by the Climate Finance Group for Latin America and the Caribbean calling for robust climate finance reporting across Latin America
The Caribbean region’s small island developing states face considerable threats from climate change, and the costs involved exceed their financial capacity.
If the goal of the Paris climate agreement is to be met, all financial flows need to shift dramatically and rapidly.
This paper aims to assess how climate change adaptation funds have been legitimized – that is, how they have been justified and made acceptable.
Analysis of climate finance flows to Pacific Island states in 2010–2014 and recent data on flows from multilateral climate funds.
Challenges and tensions arise in financing energy infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa. We explore this through case studies from Tanzania and Zambia.