Environmental aid from public sources is a core feature of contemporary environmental governance, both for strategic reasons, in that it can act as a concession or side payment for getting recipient countries to participate in international environmental governance, and effectiveness reasons, in that it can enhance the capacity of recipient countries to ensure the compliance and implementation of international regimes and provide global public goods.

According to official data, bilateral aid with environmental sustainability as a principal purpose has increased threefold since 1997, reaching around US$11 billion in 2009. If sectoral aid where the environment is a “significant” objective is included, the total amount increases to around 25 billion. The most important sectors were water and sanitation, energy, transport, agriculture, and rural development.

Key issues discussed in the chapter include the notion of “mainstreaming” environmental issues in aid, “green” conditionality, contrasting views of climate finance, and the ultimate question: whether environmental aid (and aid in general) is effective.

About the book
Aligning global governance to the challenges of sustainability is one of the most urgent environmental issues to be addressed. This book is a timely and up-to-date compilation of the main pieces of the global environmental governance puzzle. It comprises 101 entries, each defining a central concept in global environmental governance, presenting its historical evolution, introducing related debates and including key bibliographical references and further reading. The entries combine analytical rigour with empirical description. The book thus synthesizes writing from an internationally diverse range of experts, resulting in a text that is accessible to students, scholars and practitioners alike.