Room for climate change fund to improve

Published: 18 December 2014 at 10:23

Anglia Ruskin academic involved in report grading UK’s climate change initiative

A fund set up to help developing countries adapt to the impacts of climate change is making an impact – but needs to find more ways of involving the private sector, according to a report.

Catherine Cameron, a Visiting Fellow at Anglia Ruskin University’s Global Sustainability Institute, is part of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) that has published the report on the UK’s International Climate Fund (ICF) – a £3.87billion pot central to the UK’s climate change response.

ICAI has given a rating of Green-Amber, meaning the programme performs relatively well overall against ICAI’s criteria for effectiveness and value for money. It made six recommendations to support the ICF, including working through a wider range of delivery partners, more flexibility in the allocation of resource and capital expenditure, a deeper engagement with governments of developing countries and a more differentiated strategy for working with the private sector focused on the particular conditions and approaches required to attract different forms of private capital.

Catherine Cameron, review team leader of the report, said:

“The ICF has made good progress in a relatively short time frame. It has supported progress at the international level both at policy and technical levels. It would benefit from a more flexible mix of resource and capital expenditure since it needs to deepen its engagement with developing country governments and this is likely to require greater access to grant resources.”

ICAI Commissioner Mark Foster said:

“The ICF needs to develop a more detailed private sector strategy, identifying the conditions and strategies needed for attracting different forms of private capital for low-carbon, resilient growth. These might include foreign direct investment, foreign bank lending and institutional investment.
“This would enable more effective use of private finance in the ICF’s priority countries and thematic areas by amplifying and accelerating capital flows.”

The fund aims to support international poverty reduction by helping developing countries to adapt to the impacts of climate change, take up low-carbon growth and tackle deforestation. It is managed by the Department for International Development, the Department of Energy for Climate Change and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The report states that the ICF is both a significant contribution to climate finance and a tool for influencing action at international and national levels. After a challenging start, it has built up significant momentum and is now well placed to deliver on its ambitious objectives. There is evidence of early impact in a range of areas and it has pioneered new approaches in the measurement of results.