Fast Start Finance

Developed countries agreed to deliver USD 30 billion in new and additional ‘fast-start finance’ (FSF) between 2010-2012 to developing countries, as a step towards mobilizing USD 100 billion per year from public and private sources by 2020. By the end of the FSF period, the self-reporting of developed country governments indicated that they had exceeded this goal. The Overseas Development Institute (ODI), World Resources Institute (WRI) and Open Climate Network (OCN) have been working to understand where the money has gone, and what it has supported. This analysis can help to shed light on what has been achieved during the FSF period, and to draw lessons for international climate finance in the years ahead. This page compiles our FSF analysis.

ODI and its partners synthetic analysis of the objectives of the Germany, Japan, Norwegian, US and UK FSF contributions is available here. We summarise the objectives, instruments, channels, and recipients of FSF, as well as the different approaches that countries have taken to reporting and the extent to which their contributions are new and additional.

Country level analysis

Mobilising international climate finance: lessons from the fast-start finance period

Developed countries committed to provide US$30 billion in new and additional climate finance between 2010 and 2012 under the UNFCC. This so-called ‘Fast-Start Finance’ (FSF) was the first step to providing climate finance at a scale that matched the urgency of the situation. However, delivering FSF during a global financial crisis has proved challenging.

This report reviews the FSF contributions of 37 countries, including Germany, Japan, Norway, the UK and the US, over the course of this fraught timeframe. It finds that although countries have reported exceeding initial FSF commitments, definitional and operational biases paint a more complex picture.

FSF data set

[The full FSF project data set is also available at the link above]



The Japanese Fast Start Finance contribution

The USD 15 billion pledged by Japan as FSF represents one of the largest commitments of all developed countries.  40% of the commitment consists of ‘Other Official Flows’ (OOFs), such as non-concessional loans, export and investment insurance, and guarantees. Its contribution has largely supported mitigation. Japan has also mobilized USD 3.1 billion of private finance.

The US Fast-Start Finance Contribution

The US FSF contribution totaled USD 5.1 billion by 2011 and USD 7.5 billion by 2012. US FSF is largely directed through bilateral channels, including USAID, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the US Ex-Im, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). The contribution includes a substantial share of export credit and development finance.

An up to date fact sheet on the 2012 U.S. contribution is available here.

The UK Fast-Start Finance Contribution

The UK FSF contribution of USD 2.49 billion between 2010 and 2012 is channeled through its International Climate Fund. UK climate finance counts as official development assistance, and has been delivered as capital grants or grants. The majority of UK finance has been spent through multilateral channels, including the Climate Investment Funds, the Congo Basin Forest Fund, and the Adaptation Fund.

The German FSF contribution of EUR 1.29 billion slightly exceeded its initial pledge for 2010-2012. Germany's climate finance contribution is sourced from revenues from its participation in the European Emission Trading System, and from the national budget. German FSF has been allocated relatively evenly across mitigation, REDD+ and adaptation activities, using a combination of multilateral channels and bilateral cooperation. Bilateral FSF initiatives include the International Climate Initiative.
Norway contributed USD 1.4 billion in FSF between 2010 and 2012. A substantial share is directed to REDD+ efforts through the International Forest Climate Initiative. All Norwegian FSF Comes out of a growing aid budget: since 2009 the government of Norway hs contributed about 1% of GNI as ODA.



Mid-point review

Fast-start finance to address climate change: what we know at the mid-point

This 2011 paper took stock of progress made by the mid-point of the FSF period, including the timeliness of spending, the extent to which FSF commitments were new and additional, and on the implications of decentralized FSF governance for accountability and transparency. The paper made the case for a central tracking system and the strengthening of existing reporting requirements.