Breaking down barriers to tenure-positive climate finance

IIED is exploring solutions to remove the barriers that stop climate finance reaching the people most vulnerable to climate change. The focus is on the value, blocks and solutions to community funds supporting climate action to clarify community rights to resources. The project will strengthen collaboration with these funds and between donors, financial intermediaries, fund aggregators and high- and low-tech innovators.

April 2017 - July 2018
Marek Soanes

Marek Soanes was a researcher in IIED's Climate Change research group until February 2022

Mobilising money to where it matters
A programme of work helping to initiate a positive shift in the quantity and quality of climate finance reaching the local level to support locally-led solutions that address climate change, poverty and biodiversity loss
Arunachal Pradesh, north-east India: many villages traditionally administered local forests for sustainable benefits. (Photo: goldentakin, Creative Commons via Flickr)

Arunachal Pradesh, north-east India: many villages traditionally administered local forests for sustainable benefits (Photo: goldentakin, Creative Commons via Flickr)

Making investments at the local level work is seen by funders at all levels to be risky and expensive. Local projects are often small and without the safeguards required by international donors. Yet such investments, responding to challenges identified by local communities, can often deliver more effective, efficient and sustainable solutions for adapting to the impacts of climate change.

Making sure finance flows to deliver low emission, climate-resilient development is a central aim of the 2015 Paris Agreement. So how can these negative perceptions of risk, which contribute to finance not flowing to the places where it is needed, be changed?

What is IIED doing?

Building on research carried out in 2016, IIED is working to find out what the value, blockages and solutions are to finance flowing into community funds explicitly supporting action to clarify community rights to resources (including housing, land, forests).

The work will involve collaborating with new coalitions of stakeholders to find innovative solutions and will be conducted in three phases:

  • Phase 1: Scoping and interviewing climate funders, intermediaries, aggregators and brokers, policy and technology innovators and finance decision makers to check that the risk perception and assumptions are correct. This phase was carried out principally during COP23 in November 2017.
  • Phase 2: Researching case studies of good practice in relation to climate finance funding. These will be in Brazil, Thailand and Zimbabwe, with the work taking place in the first half of 2018.

    The research will involve: investigating local investment in climate actions that do not jeopardise access and rights to land and natural resources; conducting bottom-up analysis of funders and intermediaries supporting local level climate action; and scoping low-tech and hi-tech innovations that build trust and shared understanding of risks between funders and local intermediaries and communities, and scoping financial software helping money to get to the local level directly.
  • Phase 3: A learning workshop in June/July 2018 with funders – international primary funders and intermediaries at national and local level – and innovators and local community representatives to share the good practice case studies and discuss what it would take to scale up the solutions they present to a greater number of investments and to new countries.