How lessons from development finance can strengthen climate finance

Climate finance is a vital and powerful sustainable development tool. This briefing highlights lessons learned from long-standing work on development finance that need to be taken into account in climate finance discussions taking place in 2021.

Covid-19 has exposed the precarity of the current economic and financial system. Aid budgets have been slashed, social security gaps have been exposed and the fragility of healthcare systems has been laid bare. This pandemic has further exacerbated the inequality and divide within and between societies – including gender inequalities, and has highlighted the impacts of historic disinvestment in marginalised communities.


Tackling these crises will require a huge amount of resources. It is in the interest of all countries and international institutions to ensure that the world recovers from the pandemic together to engage in a pathway towards a peaceful, safe and dignified future. Without this, gains made in poverty eradication and towards sustainable development risk being further undermined.


Tackling climate change and ensuring that there are liveable environments for people, biodiversity and ecosystems to flourish in is part of achieving the sustainable development agenda. Ensuring that communities address and adapt to climate impacts enables them to maintain and strengthen their livelihoods, and helps future generations to thrive. It also supports the sustainable development of equitable societies within which citizens have access to education, justice, health and affordable energy. As such, climate finance is a vital and powerful sustainable development tool.


This brief argues that, in order for climate finance to adequately support vulnerable communities’ efforts to tackle climate change and develop sustainably:


i. The climate finance agenda must be driven by the most vulnerable
ii. The quality of climate finance must improve
iii. Greater access to climate finance is needed to minimise debt
iv. Climate finance must be gender-responsive.


This brief also highlights lessons learned from long-standing work on development finance that need to be taken into account in climate finance discussions taking place in 2021. The objective of the brief is to help strengthen synergies between the agendas of the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Click here to read the full briefing.