Development Assistance and Climate Finance


The distinction between development assistance and climate finance is driven by an optic of compensation largely derived from the ‘polluter pays’ principle. For practical as well as conceptual reasons, this principle provides a weak basis for climate finance. The distinction also cuts against the need to holistically consider developmental, adaptation, and mitigation policies and naturally focuses on government-to-government flows despite the manifest need to catalyse non-official sources of finance. Beyond the ‘polluter pays’ principle, ample justifications, such as the conceptions of justice set forth by Sen, for an international architecture that addresses integrated climate and development challenges.


Arndt, C. Development Assistance and Climate Finance. UNU-WIDER, Helsinki, Finland (2015) 9 pp. [WIDER Working Paper No. 2015/029]

Development Assistance and Climate Finance

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