Beyond promises: Realities of climate finance justice and energy transitions in Asia and the Pacific

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    Climate change is already having substantial adverse impacts across the globe, and these are projected to worsen dramatically in years to come without rapid and far-reaching measures to transition to low carbon development. Crucially, massive financial investment will be necessary to fast track a low carbon transition and the level of finance required will arguably be well beyond the resources and capability of public finance alone. With a focus on climate finance in Asia and the Pacific and drawing empirical evidence from our work in Fiji and Indonesia, this article investigates complex realities of climate finance as it flows to the recipient countries. This article reveals how existing structures and power relations impact the outcomes of financing transitions to low carbon energy. The findings suggest that climate finance flows primarily to the most bankable, lowest risk, highest return, and often the largest scale projects. Moreover, the prioritisation of large-scale projects tends to result in preference for on-grid as opposed to off-grid renewable infrastructures, the reinforcement of technological preferences of powerful stakeholders, and the exclusion of smaller projects and developers. Consequently, it could exacerbate rather than ameliorate existing inequalities with the most vulnerable groups gaining little if any benefits from such finance. This article concludes by highlighting the importance of designing climate finance governance and financial products that could mitigate multi-scalar inequalities and design the mechanisms that internalise the need for critical, intersectional co-benefit delivery.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)11
    JournalEnergy Research & Social Science
    Publication statusPublished - 2022


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