Help at hand for countries desperately seeking climate cash
By Alisa Tang
BANGKOK, Feb 18 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Several big international funds, including the U.N. Green Climate Fund, are trying to dole out billions of dollars to countries and communities to help them tackle climate change by adapting to extreme weather and adopting renewable energy.
But most government officials and smaller institutions simply do not know how to access this money, experts say. Meeting the funds' conditions is often laborious.
"There's lots of money out there for climate change, but countries are having real difficulty in accessing it," said Peter King, Bangkok-based senior policy adviser for the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES).
One of the most challenging issues is getting accredited to a fund, to be eligible for its grants and loans.
King said this was so difficult because tough accreditation rules apply to national and local-level agencies too.
"They're looking for the same level of fiduciary responsibility and fiscal management as they ask of the Asian Development Bank," he said.
High standards are needed to ensure the money is spent well and in line with funds' policies on gender equality, for example. But extra support is needed for many developing countries to be able to meet those requirements.
The Green Climate Fund (GCF), which has collected pledges of around $10 billion and aims to commit $2.5 billion this year, wants to support smaller-scale projects, and provide direct access to its resources for developing-world banks, ministries and local agencies. Continuación...