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* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

We know climate change will heavily impact communities’ access to clean drinking water and decent sanitation systems – but the inability of local, national and international institutions to coordinate means that available climate finance is not being matched with solid plans to help those in need. It’s time for a clear path of action.

The headline figure for helping developing countries cope with climate change -- $100bn pledged by wealthy countries in the lead-up to the Paris climate treaty – sounded impressive. However, getting that money released is only the first part of the struggle. Those governments with nations and communities already struggling with a changing climate are failing to get to grips with how to channel that money to where it is most needed: to assist the poorest and most vulnerable people. 

Read more: From climate change prevention to climate protection

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Delegates arrive at the convention center during the COP 23 Fiji UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany (Nov. 6, 2017). Image Credit: AP Photo/Martin Meissner

When Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama assumed the presidency of the 23rd meeting of the UN’s climate change convention on November 6, he was a long way from his Pacific home. Fiji is the first Pacific Island country to host a UN Conference of the Parties (COP), but is doing so remotely from Bonn, Germany.

With a population of less than one million people, Fiji has taken on an outsized role at the United Nations in recent years, becoming a much more prominent leader on climate change than many much larger countries.

Despite being held in a cold German city, COP 23 will have many Fijian touches. Fiji will lead a dialogue following the Pacific principles of “Talanoa” – sharing stories to build empathy and trust. Bainimarama also plans to delegate formal proceedings so that he can play “a roving role” and be on hand “to resolve any difficulties in the formal negotiations.”

Read more: Can Fiji Save the World?

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Copyright: Panos

  • Climate finance not working to save forests or their indigenous custodians

  • Investment in agriculture and development outstrips that for forest protection

  • Upholding indigenous people’s rights is the most effective way to healthy forest 

[LONDON] Climate finance, while efficient in sectors such as renewable energy, is not effective in protecting increasingly threatened forests or the rights of their inhabitants, a new report shows.

Read more: Climate finance failing on forest protection

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