Energy efficiency, renewable energy, forest conservation and sustainable land use, and adaptation are core elements for immediate action on climate change in developed and developing countries. They provide substantial economic, security, and environmental benefits that make them attractive beyond their value as responses to climate change. At the same time, increased international support for these actions will, in its own right, help to shape an effective climate agreement over time. Also, new international institutions may be needed to administer financial assistance and technology cooperation under the agreement. But these will take time to develop and scale up.
Immediate increases in public funding should include replenishing the Global Environment Facility at a higher level with needed reforms, expanding special climate initiatives at the World Bank and other international financial institutions and mainstreaming low-carbon development strategies into their core operations, and increasing bilateral aid programs.
The immediate focus of scaled-up public funding should be on policy development and capacity building. Public funds should be deployed to leverage larger flows of private-sector investment, stimulate innovation, and support technology research, development, and deployment. Existing technical institutions such as the agriculture and forestry centers in the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research should be scaled up and tasked with helping to develop and deploy technologies for climate mitigation and adaptation. A similar network should be developed to focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.
These immediate first steps will help to accelerate the larger and longer-term commitments needed to meet the climate challenge. The Copenhagen conference would provide an ideal platform to take these first steps by increasing international support for the core elements of an effective climate strategy.
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