Climate change: What’s development got to do with it?

Global Corruption Report: Climate Change bannerThis article is written by Rebecca Dobson, one of the contributors to TI’s Global Corruption Report: Climate Change, launched on 30 April 2011.

As the Global Corruption Report on climate governance is launched this week, Transparency International is making a bold statement on the need for good governance to meet the challenges of climate change.

One of the most striking findings of the report is how all encompassing climate change has become: once the realm of scientists in white coats, it now demands a response from us all. From changing our consumer choices and making our homes ‘green’, to reinforcing our infrastructure to cope with extreme weather – climate change is changing the way we live.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in vulnerable developing countries. The need to adapt is already a reality for some of the poorest regions in the world – and the costs of this will be borne by developed countries, not as development aid, but as climate compensation.

This distinction is challenging the traditional relationships between donors and recipients of international funds. No longer will developing countries be forced to accept ‘hand-outs’ with detrimental conditions from their richer neighbours. No longer will developed countries decide, when, where and how much money they bestow on their poorer cousins. Or at least this is what we hope.

The UNFCCC climate funds provide opportunities for greater developing country participation in decision-making processes and more robust systems for tracking where and how money is spent. If climate finance is managed with integrity and remains accountable, it has the opportunity to have wide reaching implications for development. This could signal a radical shift in power between north and south, making development truly sustainable by promoting developing country participation and control over their development and climate change pathways.

Rebecca Dobson is an editor of the Global Corruption Report: Climate Change

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