Climate aid must not be wasted warn scientists

By RTCC Staff

Flooding in Pakistan

Reconstruction work following the 2010 Pakistan floods will cost an estimated $10 billion (Source: UN)

Climate aid will dry up just as climate change grows most dangerous if programmes are ineffective and aid is wasted, warned climate science experts in the journal Science.

The scientists said pledges for climate aid are as significant as those for the Marshall Plan to fix Europe’s economy after World War II and warned measures must be put in place to manage the billions of dollars earmarked to help poor countries fight climate change and avoid the problems common among existing aid programmes.

The warning comes ahead of the climate conference in Durban, starting on November 28, where a framework for the allocation of the $100 billion per year Green Climate Fund – pledged at Cancun – is set to be discussed.

Author Simon Donner said in the paper that “if it’s not managed well we could waste a lot of money and a lot of people would not get the aid they need.”

Donner and his co-authors, all from the University of British Columbia, said that very few checks currently exist on climate change funds – an issue they say must be addressed in Durban.

Global financial problems are already threatening the current pledges for climate change aid. In a report this week, consultants Ernst & Young warned that a $23.5 billion gap could open up between what money has been pledged and what countries could afford.

Donner and co-authors found three main recommendations, specifically ongoing and independent assessment to ensure climate change aid is new and not merely being shifted from other existing programmes, together with the appointment of independent auditors from outside agencies to oversee spending and monitor waste.

They also said scientific methods should be used to choose projects, such as evidence-based tests used in the public health field.

The report said the main concern is that ineffective use of aid will put donors off from offering money just as the climate change situation is worsening in many countries.

They warned that the aid system has historically “been fraught with problems” citing past disasters that were overwhelmed with donations which was spent ton publicity stunts rather than real aid and that adding another $100 billion to this could worsen many of the existing problems if not dealt with.

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