Climate protection helps to reduce poverty

International climate finance should become more flexible, MCC Group Leader Jan Steckel writes in an op-ed for the German daily Frankfurter Rundschau. This would help poor but fast growing countries like India.


The Paris Agreement, adopted in December 2015, is about to set a new world record: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon is likely to announce its coming into force by the end of this year – much sooner than expected. Never before an international climate agreement would have been ratified that quickly. But the sunny views on the climate sky delude.

„On the one hand, the current investments in coal plants of poor but fast growing countries cast clouds on the success of the agreement,” writes Jan Steckel, head of the Working Group Climate and Development at the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC), in an op-ed for the German daily “Frankfurter Rundschau”. He continues: “On the other hand, international climate finance – a cornerstone of the agreement – shows significant flaws: The money, which is supposed to be distributed mainly through the deliberately founded Green Climate Fund, hardly finds local projects as recipients. In any case, the international community should not pin its hope on financing individual windmills. It should rather support the climate policy of an entire developing country, tackling climate protection and poverty reduction simultaneously. Thus, we could kill two birds with one stone.”

Steckel suggests that the financiers should use their money to finance an effective national climate policy instead of little local projects. According to him, it would be especially effective to reward developing countries if they put a price on carbon – for example by means of a carbon tax.