Climate Change Challenges for European Development Cooperation: Issues Towards 2020

By Merylyn Hedger and Neil Bird, ODI

Policy Brief No 15 – March 2011

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The European Union (EU) has stepped up to its historic responsibilities and climate change has become an increasingly important component of its development cooperation effort. It has contributed most of the committed Fast Start Funds that will be critical to achieve a new global climate deal. But how will all this play out over the next decade and what can we learn from recent trends?

Strategies on climate change and development cooperation are both evolving rapidly within Europe. Improved scientific understanding about climate change, and responses to it, show the need for urgent action to fill the ‘gigatonne gap’. This is the chasm between emission reductions pledged by countries and the actual reductions needed to stay within a safe global carbon budget. The aid landscape is also changing fast, after years of seeming stability.  With the emergence of new donors (both sovereign states and private foundations) complexity is likely to increase through to 2020.  As a result, the traditional multilateral and bilateral donors are likely to lose influence and power. But within the climate change framework there is still unfinished business for traditional donors, particularly in relation to the provision of finance and technology for developing countries. Read the full paper