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TIB: Climate change project actions fail to address climate resilience

  • Published at 10:27 pm July 10th, 2019
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TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman speaks at a press conference at its headquarters in Dhaka on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

The study says the Global Climate Fund has been  pledged $30.4 billion US dollars

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has found that most climate change countermeasures  are failing to serve their purpose, due to an imbalance between climate change and development focused activities.

The rights and anti-corruption watchdog made the observation unveiling the  “Assessing Synergy between Climate and Development Projects” study at its headquarters in Dhaka on Wednesday.

Climate-related projects are adopted to tackle the adverse effects of climate change through mitigation and adaptation project funding from the Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund (BCCTF). Some of these projects are mitigation focused, some are adaptation related, and some are a combination of the two.

However, the TIB study revealed that of the Annual Development Program (ADP) project activities, 50% were found to be climate-change related, and the other 50% were development oriented in BCCTF project activities, with no direct climate change orientation.

In adaptation type projects of BCCTF, only 17% were found to be entirely focused on adaptation to climate change, and only 25% of mitigation projects were directly mitigation related. 8%  of BCCTF projects were related to both mitigation and adaptation aspects of addressing climate change. The remaining 50% of project activities were focused on development rather than dealing with climate change.

“Such a mix up has happened because of the absence of proper vulnerability assessment based prioritization of project related activities. If you want to take up a project to tackle the adverse effects of climate change, you have to assess the nationwide vulnerability first,” said TIB Climate Change Unit Head, M Zakir Hossain Khan. 

He also emphasized that for proper forecast as well as time bound access to climate funds from international sources, the "climate finance strategy" included in the 7th Five Year Plan, should be formulated soon.

Budget allocation

Dr. Iftekharuzzaman, executive director of TIB, said there was only a meager flow of funds to vulnerable developing countries from the developed world and urged the development of time bound budget allocations and measurable implementation, evaluation, and monitoring mechanisms, to ensure transparency, accountability, and effectiveness.   

The study identified that so far, the Global Climate Fund has been able to get from rich countries a $30.4 billion US dollar pledge only, while actual deposits to the fund remain at $26.1 billion US dollars. 

Of this, $19.3 billion US dollars have been approved for various projects, but real disbursement stands at only $6.8 billion US dollars. 

Of all climate fund approved projects, nearly 77% are allocated to Non-Least Developed Countries (LDC) countries, which is actually about 79% of total disbursed funds. 

The share of climate funding allocated to LDC countries is only 23% of the total pledged amount, of which more than 60% is for low-income LDCs.  Non-LDC countries received most of their commitments from multi-country, regional, and global donors.  

A field-based survey of project stakeholders was conducted at 31 project sites in the four coastal districts of Barguna, Bhola, Cox’s Bazar, and Satkhira. A total of 390 responses to the survey questionnaire were collected from stakeholders in 17 BCCTF and 14 ADP projects. 

A three level stratification was involved in randomly selecting 17 BCCTF projects  out of more than 400 projects. In addition, 10 responses were collected through key informant interviews. Data collection, data analysis, and report writing was done over almost one year, from July 2018 to May 2019.

Dr AK Enamul Haque, director Asian Center for Development, presented the research paper.