This chapter explores the interplay between politics and international law in the field of climate finance, with an emphasis on its North-South dimensions, which is the promotion of resource flows by developed nations towards developing nations. Participation by developing countries in the climate regime is critical as they are the largest emitters of greenhouse gas. Unfortunately, it is the less-developed nations that are harmed the most by climate change. It is here where North-South finance emerges as an important issue. The chapter addresses two critical issues in the governance and future of the climate finance regime. First, the wide variety of institutions and mechanisms involved expands the scope for attracting and supplying resources but they remain fragmented and require greater coordination to be effective. Second, the mobilization of North-South finance is insufficient relative to mitigation and adaptation needs. Such a challenge requires greater political will and a stronger legal regime.
This chapter considers the climate change regime in the context of intra- and inter-generational equity. The principle of inter-generational equity defines the rights and obligations of present and future generations with respect to the use and enjoyment of natural and cultural resources, inherited by the present generation and to be passed on to future generations in no worse condition than received. In this context, climate change regime accommodates the interests of future generations in a balancing of interests, thereby falling into the field of the two principles. The chapter describes how Article 3 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) may be viewed as supporting the legitimate expectation of future generations of equitable access to planetary resources, and the concomitant obligation of the present generation as trustee of these resources to ensure that future options are not unduly constrained.
Laurence Boisson De Chazournes
Technical and financial assistance plays an important role in the furtherance of environmental protection. Since the end of the 1980s, important changes have modified its contours, aims, and legal structure. The emergence of new principles, such as the principle of sustainable development and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, have introduced new facets to this notion, and the implementation of these principles has resulted in a complex mosaic of financial mechanisms and funding sources, which are linked to global conventions, multilateral institutions, bilateral aid, and private sector investment. This article first provides a picture of the different types and sources of technical and financial assistance, such as official development assistance, international institutions, and public/private partnerships. It also addresses the relationship between technology transfer and intellectual property rights, especially in light of agreements such as the Convention on Biological Diversity. The article then examines the aim and nature of financial and technical assistance, the legal structure of financial mechanisms (including its relationship with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities), and the provision of global public goods.