Thursday, December 29, 2011

Criteria missing from climate investments: stakeholders

A rather sour view of the subject from Mike De Souza in the Montreal Gazette: A research project offering support and advice for climate change adaptation in South Africa is among dozens of initiatives sharing $1.2 billion in loans and grants sent overseas over three years from the Canadian government as it tries to distance itself from "hot air" and the Kyoto Protocol.

But observers note there is still a long way to go before an emerging global green climate fund establishes its own guidelines and criteria to ensure accountability and results from the massive investments.

The International Development Research Centre, an arm's-length Canadian Crown corporation that is distributing millions of dollars of the climate funding, said that research is the first step toward identifying credible projects and ensuring federal dollars are spent well.

"This is really kind of a critical priority because in my view, there's a whole lot of noise around (adaptation issues), but not that many effective projects," said Mark Redwood, a program leader on climate change and water at IDRC.

The corporation chose seven research projects in Africa, working with local stakeholders that deliver development projects on the ground to find the most effective investment options.

"One thing that they observed and which I also noted is that there are many, many adaptation projects that would not pass basic criteria for a development bank or a private investor," said Redwood, who specializes in urban and environmental planning. "The benefits are difficult to identify, sometimes with climate change adaptation. The field is still sorting itself out a little bit, so basically there's a disconnect . . . between those projects and the number of projects that a development bank could fund."...

Sometimes I am stumped for an illustrative photo, and I do something like this detail from an Art Deco elevator door in the lobby of the Hotel Allegro in Chicago, shot by John Hritz, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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