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Climate Finance: Vulnerability and Responsibility - Thematic study by the Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development

Published

22 September 2025

The impact of climate crises on ecosystems, economies, societies worldwide is unevenly distributed. Climate justice is one of the conditions that determine the right to development, as a right of peoples and individuals more and more directly affected in their development by climate change.

Climate justice must be matched with equitable financing allowing to act vigorously according to circumstances, vulnerabilities, abilities, and responsibilities and make a just transition possible and real everywhere. The current lack of resources and liquidity crisis are a major obstacle for of a lot of developing countries and must be addressed urgently and structurally.

This study proposes to define, explore, and follows various ideas, initiatives and practices contributing to finance adequately climate transition and development at different levels. It will also establish linkages between these processes whether they are based on pluri or multilateral cooperation, International financial institutions, regional or domestic resources mobilisation.

This study will explore (indicative and not exhaustive list):

  • The Bridgetown Initiative (government led / civil society support): An advocacy initiative spearheaded by Prime Minister Mia Mottley. Emerging from a meeting in Bridgetown in June 2022, the agenda has been embraced by a number of philanthropic foundations and NGOs. It includes a range of proposals framed around horizons with cascading levels of ambition. A new summit, co-chair by Prime Minister Mottley and President Macron will take place in Paris in June 2023.
  • G20 Financial Architecture Working Group (government led): Recommended five reforms to increase MDB headroom, in parallel with the G20 Presidency having commissioned a separate expert working group on Strengthening MDBs.
  • Summit for a new Financing Pact (government led): Co-chaired by Emmanuel Macron and Narendra Modi, this summit brings together an informal group of countries to discuss a shift in climate and development finance on 22-23 June 2023, structured around four working groups:
    1. Reform of the international financial architecture and especially the MDBs.
    2. Support for the private sector in developing economies.
    3. Unlocking private investment in green infrastructures in developing and emerging markets.
    4. Innovative financing for those countries most exposed to climate change.
  • V20 “Accra Marrakech Agenda” (government led): The V20 Group5, representing 58 of the world’s most systemically climate-threatened economies, has proposed an advocacy agenda to cement an international coalition behind four goals:
    1. Make Debt Work for the Climate.
    2. Optimising the use of capital of MDBs/DFIs and increased use of SDRs, and rechannelling SDRs through DFIs.
    3. New Deal on Carbon Financing including an intergovernmental global carbon exchange, link polluting and low polluting markets for the private sector to exchange emissions outcomes.
    4. Risk Management is envisaged differently including a trigger-based design in public & private financial instruments; leveraging data to replace after-the-fact assessments; a dedicated OECD DAC marker for loss and damage; and ensuring credit rating agencies fully account for all climate risks.
  • Global Sovereign Debt Roundtable (government / multilateral led): Which brings together public, private, and multilateral creditors to discuss common positioning regarding treatment of countries facing debt distress. It is an informal forum rather than a decision-making forum discussing namely:
    1. Designing of the Loss & Damage Fund.
    2. Institutional arrangements.
    3. Credible sources of revenue and mechanism to ensure fairness in the attribution of finance.
    4. A shift from a focus on Official Development Assistance (ODA) towards long-term co-investment in Africa’s growth, by public-private investment.
    5. Tackling Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) and restructuring of supply chains to generate much greater value-added.
    6. Investment in the Great Green Wall, development of carbon markets for regenerating landscapes and agriculture, support to biodiversity plans and the development of agroecology.
  • Common But Differentiated Responsibility (CBDR): A principle adopted since 1992 and reaffirmed in the Paris Agreement and its potential concrete applications.

Issued By:

Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development

Author:

Ms. Isabelle DURANT (Belgium)

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