30 Sep 2008

Financial Impacts of Climate Change: An Overview of Climate Change-related Actions in the European Commission’s Development Coop

Arno Behrens

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This paper analyses the variety of different external aid initiatives and financing mechanisms of the European Commission addressing climate change and development objectives, such as those stemming from the 2004 EU Action Plan on Climate Change and Development, from the Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) and those under the Thematic Programme for Environment and Sustainable Management of Natural Resources (ENRTP). The paper also outlines related Commission commitments with the European Investment Bank (EIB), the World Bank and the United Nations. While the European Commission has advanced a number of new initiatives, it seems that the complexity of responsibilities in the management of the current financing instruments requires organisational restructuring, a more transparent reporting mechanism and the development of better indicators to evaluate the impacts of those initiatives. Overall it appears that the Commission is just at the beginning of taking full account of climate change in development cooperation. Its contribution is rather limited in view of the financing needs related to climate change in developing countries, and innovative financing mechanisms should be sought together with member states and the private sector.