When the world’s environment ministers gather once more this December to agree on a global deal to save the climate, the issue of climate finance will once again be one of the burning issues.

Gone is the time when substantial emission reductions could only be made in developed countries and climate policy in developing countries was largely limited to adaptation to future climate changes. More than half of global emissions are now taking place in developing countries, and that share is increasing. Therefore, it is crucial to find ways to help developing countries to reduce their emissions, and this must be done in addition to the necessary rapid reductions in developed countries.

During recent years, the issue of climate finance has beenone of the more important, but also infected, topics in the UN-led negotiations on climate change. The divisions between and within the different groups continue to be substantial, despite agreements on establishing a Green Climate Fund, and the developed countries’ commitments to provide 100 billion USD in annual climate finance by 2020.

As in many areas in the climate negotiations, the issue of climate finance is a complex one. In this illuminating policy paper, Jakob Skovgaard, who has extensive experience of climate finance after being part of the Danish Ministry of Finance delegation at several negotiation meetings and who is now undertaking post-doctoral research in political science at Lunds University, elaborates on some of the difficulties which need to be addressed in order for the parties to move forward in this year’s Climate negotiations in Doha.

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