A Chinese resident looks at a solar panel in a residential area in Nanjing, Dec. 1, 2009. Solar energy supplies heating and hot water to as many as 150 million Chinese.
"Climate Finance: Key Concepts and Ways Forward"
December 2, 2009
Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Harvard Project on Climate Agreements
Climate finance is fundamental to curbing anthropogenic climate change. Compared, however, to the negotiations over emissions reduction timetables, commitments, and architectures, climate finance issues have received only limited and belated attention. Assuring delivery and appropriate use of the financial resources needed to achieve emissions reductions and secure adaptation to climate change, particularly in developing countries, is as vital as agreement on emission caps. Yet, a comprehensive framework on financing for mitigation and adaptation is not in sight. Developed and developing countries cannot agree on even the fundamentals of what should be included (e.g. should private finance through carbon markets be included?), let alone the level and terms of financing commitments, regulatory and other mechanisms, or governance structures.
This impasse, which reflects a lack of trust between developed and developing countries, has manifested itself in basic disagreements over three main issues relating primarily to mitigation finance: first, the necessity of credible and substantial developed country commitments on public funding; second, the role of private finance; and third, the institutions and governance structures to ensure equity and environmental effectiveness.
Richard B. Stewart is University Professor and John Edward Sexton Professor of Law; Chair and Faculty Director, Hauser Global Law School Program; Director, Guarini Center on Environmental and Land Use Law; NYU School of Law. Benedict Kingsbury is Murry and Ida Becker Professor of Law; Director, Institute for International Law and Justice, NYU School of Law. Bryce Rudyk is a Research Fellow, Guarini Center on Environmental and Land Use Law; NYU School of Law.
Viewpoints present policy proposals, considered opinions, and commentary by distinguished policymakers, leaders from business and nongovernmental organizations, and scholars. The Harvard Project on International Climate Agreements does not advocate any specific climate change policy proposals. Statements and views expressed in Viewpoints are solely those of the authors and do not imply endorsement by Harvard University, the Harvard Kennedy School, or the Harvard Project on International Climate Agreements.
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