Using decentralised government structures to channel climate finance and support community priorities in achieving resilience
International funding for climate change adaptation and mitigation is increasing rapidly. In April 2015, 33 governments pledged US$10 billion to the UNFCCC’s Green Climate Fund alone, and the UN’s proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, while acknowledging that the UNFCCC is the primary forum for negotiating the global response (goal 13).
The question is, how will this funding reach the communities, the farmers and herders at the front line of climate change? Funds are currently concentrated at national level. Centralised agencies are not yet disbursing them locally, let alone involving local communities in investment planning. For climate adaptation and mitigation measures to deliver resilience, local knowledge and perspectives need to be given due priority.
Both formal planning systems and implementation need to become more inclusive. One way to achieve this is to establish mechanisms allowing local communities to participate in the planning of development-related funding through their elected representatives at local government level.
Decentralising climate finance
Kenya, Tanzania, Mali and Senegal are piloting local adaptation funds under the discretionary authority of elected local authorities with technical support from IIED and partners. The approach is designed to establish mechanisms not just to give local governments access to climate nance but also to allow poor and vulnerable households to prioritise investments that will provide resilient pathways out of poverty and climate vulnerability. It will enable local government to institutionalise a decision-making process