Innovative financing can catalyze community responses to climate change

Source(s)
Hill, the

By Nikoosh Carlo

Reactive responses to environmental disasters are costly for state, local and tribal governments. The approach to respond after a devastating event compromises the safety of residents and communities and risks compounding threats that can easily overwhelm response systems. 

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We need innovative climate financing to build proactive climate responses in local communities. Creating what I call a Climate Response Fund (CRF) can draw from diverse funding sources and use a collaborative governance structure to finance innovative, equitable, community-led climate mitigation and adaptation projects.

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Here is how this type of system could work. Existing carbon offset or removal markets generate revenue. Another revenue source likely in our future is a national carbon price that puts a cost on carbon pollution. While these and other individual funding sources can be powerful mechanisms for change, a CRF would amplify that impact by blending different funding sources, focusing on community investment and governance of the CRF and targeting on-the-ground adaptation and mitigation actions.

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A CRF would have the flexibility to change the portfolio of funding sources. Right now one of those funding sources might be carbon offset markets and later maybe it is carbon pricing or venture capital investment. The opportunity is the ability to bring together all the various funding sources that are out there. There are some key questions that need to be answered in order to create and implement a CRF.

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