Three ways Durban climate conference can ensure rich world meets finance promises

News, 21 November 2011

A briefing paper published today (21 November) by IIED outlines three steps to ensure developed countries meet their agreed commitments to help poorer nations adapt to climate change.

It comes one week ahead of the Durban climate change conference where nearly 200 governments will meet to negotiate further action to address climate change.

The paper systematically analyses the five key promises rich countries have already made but finds these nations have yet to show how they can meet these commitments.

In 2009, developed nations promised US$30 billion between 2010 and 2012, and US$100 billion a year by 2020 to enable developing nations to adapt to climate change and reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases.

At last year’s UN climate change conference in Cancun, nations reiterated these pledges and specified that funding for adaptation should be adequate, fairly shared between donors, balanced with funding for mitigation, targeted on a needs basis, and governed well.

But the new analysis shows that these promises are not being met – and this means poor countries will find it harder to adapt to climate change.

The briefing says negotiators who gather in Durban next week can correct this situation with three actions:

• adopting a transparent, centralised accounting system;
• establishing funding sources based on international transport and trade;
• and defining annual targets to scale up the total funding for adaptation.

"Money has yet to flow to meet even the most urgent adaptation needs of the Least Developed Countries,” says author David Ciplet of Brown University in the United States. “Without adequate and predictable funding, developing countries most vulnerable to climate change cannot respond effectively. All of the talk about adaptation in Cancun will mean little unless reliable funding sources are established in Durban."

Download the briefing paper


David Ciplet (Brown University) -- / +1 510 846 5020
J. Timmons Roberts (Brown University) -- / +1 401-441-2103
Saleemul Huq (IIED); / +44 (0)203 4367399

Notes to editors

The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) is an independent, non-profit research institute. Set up in 1971 and based in London, IIED provides expertise and leadership in researching and achieving sustainable development (see:

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