The Climate Funds Update data is now current as of June 2013. This brief note highlights new developments including pledges, approvals, and disbursements.
New Climate Finance pledges March 2013 – May 2013:
On 24th May 2013 Sweden’s government announced a new pledge to the Adaptation Fund of USD 15 million, making Sweden the biggest donor to the Fund with a total committment of USD 59.21 million. Canada is a new contributor to the Congo Basin Forest Fund (CBFF) with a pledge of USD 21.02 million. Spain increased its pledge to the UN-REDD Programme by USD 2.42 million.
New approvals and disbursements March 2013 – May 2013:
Enhanced transparency and disclosure practices:
The Adaptation Fund, as it now reports ‘live’ information on projects’ disbursements as well as project performance reporting. The Amazon Fund now reports detailed information on the contributions made to the fund, distinguishing ‘committed’ and ‘received’ funding, and on the projects side, distinguishing between different types of project management. The Climate Investment Funds (CIFs) provide project by project information on disbursements, but only on public projects; private projects are not disclosed for confidentiality reasons. Both the Adaptation Fund and the Climate Investment Funds have committed to adopting the International Aid Transparency Initiative standard.
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. Smita Nakhooda's joint commentary with Taryn Fransen of WRI reflects on the challenges and opportunities before the international community as they work to scale up international climate finance, in light of the Fast Start experience.
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. 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. You can view a compilation of this analysis on our new Fast Start Finance page.
On April 11th the US hosted a Ministerial Meeting on Mobilizing Climate Finance. Climate Funds Update users may be interested in WRI’s analysis of key issues to address.
The Climate Funds Update data is now current as of March 2013.
Since November 2012, countries have pledged and deposited money in a number of climate funds. The UK has pledged USD 147 million to the Clean Technology Fund and deposited USD 101 million. Sweden also made a new contribution to the Scaling-Up Renewable Energy Program for Low Income Countries of USD 26 million, and additional contributions to the Adaptation Fund (USD 15 million) and to the Least Developed Countries Fund (USD 17 million).
Most climate funds have approved new projects, particularly for adaptation:
· The Pilot Program for Climate Resilience approved USD 121 million for 7 new full size projects (using both loans and grants) and 4 new preparation grants Mozambique, Tajikistan, Yemen, Grenada. Additional projects in Cambodia and Nepal were approved, as well as one regional project across Asia and the Pacific. The two biggest projects by funding focus on building climate resilience to transform hydro-meteorological services and adapt to climate related hazards.
· The Least Developed Countries Fund approved USD 50 million in grants for 9 new adaptation projects in Burkina Faso, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Malawi, a second project in Mali, Sudan, Vanuatu and Yemen. Two of these are focussed on enabling women to adapt to climate change and build resilience. The GEF Trust Fund - Climate Change focal area (GEF 5) approved USD 37 million in grants for 12 new projects in different countries. These include renewable energy projects (e.g. rural electrification in Ecuador, solar photovoltaic energy in Iraq, and geothermal power projects in Djibouti) as well as energy efficiency, including low carbon development in Brazilian cities.
Please contact the Climate Funds Update team with any questions or for further information.
This piece was written by Charlene Watson of the Overseas Development Institute.
Since 2007, parties to the UNFCCC have been discussing the design of a registry of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs). This Registry would match developing country actions with possible sources of international financial support. Such a matching function may be difficult to realise, as funders rarely ‘shop’ in such a way for projects, but the emerging NAMA Registry proposal and protocol could improve the transparency of financial support for climate change mitigation.
What value can the registry add?
NAMAs take on many forms, but are broadly defined as a set of country-driven, sustainable development-compatible actions aimed at reducing emissions. The intention of the Registry is to compile developing country NAMAs in order to match them with developed country support through a web-based platform. This support might take the form of technological capacity or assistance, direct mitigation actions, or finance. The Registry has the potential to provide information on developing countries’ climate finance needs and whether such needs are being, or can be, met. Such transparency can foster trust between developed and developing countries in the UNFCCC process to deliver fair and effective outcomes
A number of climate finance tracking initiatives already exist, including our ODI-HBF Climate Funds Update. Climate Funds Update monitors finance from pledge to disbursal in 23 of the dedicated public climate funds and initiatives. Other initiatives track Fast Start Finance, finance for reducing emissions from forestry activities, and climate finance flowing through national budgets. Such initiatives provide crucial data on where climate finance is going and to what activities. They also help monitor whether developed countries are meeting their collective pledges to mobilise US$ 30 billion between 2010 and 2012 and the longer term objective of making available US$ 100 billion a year by 2020.
NAMAs recorded in the Registry won’t necessarily sum to the total cost of mitigation activities in any given country, but will provide one insight into how much and what type of finance is needed by developing country governments. In doing so, the Registry would go beyond other climate finance tracking initiatives.
However, it remains to be seen how the NAMAs already submitted to the UNFCCC (now totalling close to 50), and also recorded in the Ecofys NAMA database, will be integrated in the Registry, as these are not necessarily seeking international financial support. There are also questions about how the Registry will reflect information on finance delivered through other forms, such as through developed countries’ biennial reports on action.
But so far, engagement with the registry has been limited
In August 2012, the UNFCCC Secretariat requested parties to submit NAMAs to be included in a prototype Registry.
Three countries have submitted information on NAMAs seeking preparation support. Mali has requested US$ 40,000 support each for preparation of two NAMAs for energy efficiency and renewable energy, and forestry, respectively (both note that capacity building and technical support is also needed). Ethiopia has requested US$ 400,000 for support for preparation of an interurban electric rail NAMA. Uruguay’s three requests for sustainable housing, low emission agricultural technology and wind energy NAMAs amount to US$ 1,675,000.
Two NAMAs have been submitted seeking support for implementation: Chile seeks a US$7.5 million grant for implementation of a national forestry and climate change strategy, while Uruguay has requested a US$2 million grant for integrating photovoltaic solar energy into the national grid. Three more NAMAs have been submitted for recognition. All submissions have requested grant finance, and so far the Registry contains information from only four countries.
No submissions on support for NAMAs have been received from developed countries: a sticky issue for recent negotiations in Doha.
Will the Registry be a useful addition to the international climate policy architecture?
Commitments were made in Doha to have a fully operational prototype by April 2013, on which comments will be invited. Participation in the Registry is voluntary and there are minimal requirements from Parties on information submitted. Developed country incentives to engage with the Registry are unclear. Its function in practice as a clearing house for information on NAMAs, and in improving the transparency of climate finance, remains to be seen.
To have any impact in improving the transparency of action and support, greater engagement with the design of the registry is needed. This would ensure that it presents information that helps us understand finance needs and assess the impact of supported programmes. Those institutions and individuals already involved in tracking climate finance may have useful insights to share on these practical challenges.
This piece was co-authored by Smita Nakhooda of the Overseas Development Institute and Taryn Fransen of the World Resources Institute, with inputs from Noriko Shimizu (International Group for Environmental Strategies) and Sven Harmeling (Germanwatch).
'Developed countries self-report that they have delivered more than $33 billion in fast-start climate finance between 2010 and 2012, exceeding the pledges they made at COP 15 in Copenhagen in 2009. But how much of this finance is new and additional?' Full text available here.
CFU is glad to feature this guest commentary on climate finance transparency from our colleague Maya Forstater, Climate Finance Advisor to Publish What You Fund.
They say if you like sausages you should never visit a sausage factory. But users of Climate Funds Update’s data tools may be interested to read about the process involved.
The sausage-makers – Charlene Watson, Smita Nakhooda, Alice Caravani, Liane Schalatek – have helpfully outlined the process in their report on The Practical Challenges of Monitoring Climate Finance. Over the past three years they have painstakingly tracked 22 funds; combing through websites, trustee reports, press releases and notes from civil society organisations to identify funding decisions and work out how far the money had got along the chain from pledge to disbursement. They double check this with the Funds involved, before publishing it, then going back two months later to start the whole process again in order to keep the data up-to-date.
All this effort is worthwhile because credible, comparable and up-to-date information is essential to understanding who benefits from public climate financing, and how scarce public resources are being used, and to building trust.
The task is made harder by climate funds that sometimes don’t report regularly, by inconsistent terminology, and by the lack of a system for tracking funding between funds and projects, leading to the potential for double counting.
Furthermore, Climate Funds Update is just one of a cluster of initiatives monitoring overlapping flows of climate finance. Most recently, the multi-lateral development banks released their first Joint MDB Report on Climate Finance which sums together both the dedicated funds which feature on Climate Fund Update, but also mainstream development funding with adaptation or mitigation co-benefits.
The challenge of tracking climate finance will only become trickier as the Fast Start period comes to an end, and countries shift towards the longer-term goal of scaling up to mobilise US$100 billion a year of ‘new and additional’ funding from a wider variety of sources. The Climate Policy Initiative last year mapped the landscape of climate finance revealing spaghetti strings of intermediaries, instruments, channels and end-users. Overall they counted US$97 billion worth of public and private flows but emphasised that this could not be equated to the US$100 billion promised by developed countries in the Copenhagen Accord, as it is not yet clear what should be counted ‘in’ and what should be counted ‘out’.
In their report to the upcoming COP 18 meeting, the co-chairs of the UNFCCC Work Programme on Long Term Financing, Georg Børsting and Zaheer Fakir, highlight the urgent need to “improve the transparency of climate finance at the international level while keeping systems simple and manageable.” One key obstacle is the lack of global agreement on what counts as climate finance, what ‘mobilising’ means, and against what benchmark ‘new and additional’ should be counted. These thorny issues will be amongst the topics discussed in Doha, and are likely to go forward to future COPs.
But there is a system already in operation, which could make climate finance data more accessible and useful, and take a great deal of the painstaking effort out of tracking it.
The problem of hard to publish, hard to find, hard to use data is common to both climate finance and development cooperation. In our report Towards Climate Finance Transparency, Publish What You Fund and aidinfo argue that a new approach to data transparency, which originated in the aid sphere could be used unlock climate finance data, without blurring the (as yet undefined) boundaries of what can be counted as climate finance for the purposes of UNFCCC commitments.
The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) is an open data standard that enables funders to publish detailed information in a timely, accessible and comparable way on their own websites. The location of the data is recorded in a central registry which acts as a single point of access for data users. Crucially, this makes the data machinereadable, unlocking it from individual databases and reports and opening it up to automated collation and interactive data use and visualisation.
Those providing data to IATI commit to:
- Can update their information at least quarterly, preferably monthly;
- Publish forward-looking data, such as project budgets, planned disbursements, and aggregate country budgets as well as detailed project information, such as which organisation receives the funds, details of disbursements and expenditure, and contact details;
- Publish in a way that allows funds to be tracked through the funding chain and data and reconciled with the financial year of the recipient country.
Published in a common data format, it is readily comparable and easily combined with other datasets to meet users’ individual needs. The standard is not limited to ‘aid’. All funders including providers of ODA and OOF (other official flows), humanitarian flows, south-south development co-operation, NGOs, foundations and other private donors, are able to publish to the IATI standard. Data users are able to filter the data they need by source type, theme, location or any number of criteria they choose.
Countries that have agreed to implement IATI include Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the US. This means that over a third of all fast start finance has come from agencies that are already committed to implementing the IATI standard. The World Bank, the European Commission, the UNDP and other multilateral funders have also championed the system, although to date it has not been implemented in the climate specific trust funds.
Small changes to the IATI standard would enable funders to tag the information they publish about funding flows with more detailed climate change markers, for example indicating the percentage of each budget intended for climate mitigation, adaptation or REDD goals and to state whether this is part of a UNFCCC climate finance commitment.
The IATI standard itself would not answer the political questions determining what is ‘in’ or ‘out’ for the purposes answering the US$100 billion dollar question. But it would provide a simple, manageable and powerful system to improve climate finance transparency; providing finance and line ministries, civil society, legislators and citizens with timely, comprehensive, accessible and comparable information about climate finance flows which could then be mapped onto domestic budgets and priorities.
 Note by the Co-Chairs, Report on the workshops of the work programme on long-term finance, November 2012: http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2012/cop18/eng/03.pdf.
As Qatar prepares to host COP 18, decisions on how to deliver and channel finance to help developing countries respond to climate change will again be on the agenda. Climate finance is mobilized in the context of UNFCCC principles that recognize countries common but differentiated responsibilities to act to address climate change. Despite fiscal pressures, we see some encouraging signs that countries are delivering public climate finance in this year’s series of Climate Finance Fundamentals.
Climate Finance Fundamentals are based on data from Climate Funds Update, a joint initiative of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and Heinrich Böll Stiftung (HBF), which monitors climate funds from the stage when donors pledge funding through to the actual disbursement of financing for projects.
In 2012, 1.2 billion dollars of climate finance has been pledged. The total volume of climate finance pledged through the 23 dedicated public funds we monitor on CFU now amounts to $29.8 billion.
Between 2003 and 2012, $7.28 billion has been pledged to finance activities. About $5.61 billion of this pledged amount has been deposited to the designated funds. The volume of finance approved for REDD+ activities increased by about $120 million in 2012, adding to the $ 1 billion total approved for REDD+ activities. Disbursement of finance continues to be slow.
Since 2003 only 15% of climate finance approved for projects has gone to finance adaptation. But support is growing. This year $556.3 million was pledged to finance adaptation activities, bringing the total since 2003 to $2.73 billion; of this, about $2.23 billion has been deposited.
The total amount approved for projects in sub-Saharan Africa has increased by $300 million since 2011. Of the total climate finance channeled to sub-Saharan Africa, 56% supports mitigation activities, while adaptation projects receive 28% of funding in this highly vulnerable region.
Climate finance for the Middle East and North Africa, the host region for this year’s COP, has increased by 5% in 2012. Egypt and Morocco, however, receive 80% of the total approved climate finance.
The Latin America and the Caribbean region continues to receive the most REDD+ funding, with a total of $598 million approved for projects.
$2.27 billion has been approved for projects in the Asia –Pacific region since 2003. This year alone, $735 million was approved for new projects. Of the total, a full 67% supports mitigation activities.
How is this finance channelled? The global climate finance architecture is multifaceted. Some finance is spent through multilateral funds – such as the Global Environment Facility and the Climate Investment Funds. But a large share of public climate finance is spent bilaterally, administered by existing development agencies such as Japan’s JICA and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Some countries, notably Brazil and Indonesia, have set up their own national climate change funds. Their objective is to establish funds with high levels of accountability that can finance projects that reflect national circumstances and priorities.
It is also necessary to consider the social dimensions of climate finance. There is evidence to suggest that women are disproportionally affected by climate change impacts. As a result, global interest in options to strengthen the linkages between gender equity and climate change finance has increased.
There is an expectation that the Green Climate Fund (GCF) may help to fill some of the gaps in the current climate finance architecture, especially when it comes to more adaptation finance for vulnerable countries. The precise volume of finance to be channelled through the GCF remains unclear, although it could potentially manage tens of billions of dollars per year over time.