Experts Warn of Dark Side of Climate Finance as COP28 Kicks Off in Dubai
Dubai, UAE – As the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) gets underway in Dubai, experts are warning of the potential pitfalls of rich countries providing more money to poor countries to fight climate change. In an analysis published in Foreign Policy, Vijaya Ramachandran and Alex Smith of the Breakthrough Institute argue that the conventional critique of climate finance – that it’s too little – overlooks the unintended consequences of increasing funding, particularly in terms of energy and development aid.
The authors point out that while a loss and damage fund has been agreed upon at COP28 to help poor countries cope with climate-related events, the exact projects and mechanisms for distribution are still unclear. They caution that without clear guidelines and accountability measures, climate finance could end up being siphoned off from critical development needs or exacerbating existing inequalities.
Ramachandran and Smith also argue that rich countries must acknowledge the as yet unavoidable role of fossil fuels in poor countries’ development trajectories, and commit resources to clearly defined climate projects where the money actually ends up in poor countries. Only then, they say, can trust be restored and progress made towards a more sustainable future.
As delegates from around the world gather in Dubai to discuss the urgent issue of climate change, the experts’ warning serves as a reminder that the road ahead is fraught with challenges and trade-offs.