Eurodad and Publish What You Fund ask for transparency in climate funds

PRESS RELEASE:

WANTED: the truth behind climate funds                                     

Brussels, September 3, 2010

Civil society organisations are calling for greater progress on making information on climate finance available, following the Netherlands’ launch of a new website to track climate finance at the ministerial meeting on climate finance taking place in Geneva today.

“We welcome efforts to improve access to information on climate finance commitments, but the new web site does not meet the minimum standards of transparency needed to ensure that these funds can be tracked and used effectively,” says Nora Honkaniemi, Advocacy Officer at the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad).

At the climate summit in Copenhagen last December, developed countries pledged to provide developing countries with $US30 billion to finance adaptation and mitigation in developing countries during the period 2010-2012. In the run up to Copenhagen, the EU and its 27 Member States committed to funding totalling €2.4 billion annually and recognized that “a Copenhagen agreement will require a gradual but significant scaling up of both public and private financial flows to developing countries.”[1]

”European governments must build on the Netherlands government initiative and take the lead in swiftly integrating global transparency standards for climate finance with the emerging International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) standards to generate comprehensive, timely and comparable information,” says Karin Christiansen, Director of  Publish What You Fund.  This must be a first crucial step to ensure that money is effective and additional, that donors can be held accountable for their climate and aid promises, and that citizens in Europe and around the world know the truth behind the climate funds for impoverished countries.

To ensure that European governments live up to their promises and do not double count previous aid commitments against their new climate finance pledges, comprehensive, comparable and timely information standards are urgently needed.

These standards must:

          Define what qualifies as climate financing to ensure that it genuinely contributes to achieving climate objectives and does not undermine development goals;

          Define what is new and additional – clarify which funds were already pledged before Copenhagen and how these are additional to previous ODA commitments;[2]

          Be compatible with the emerging aid transparency standards being developed in the International Aid Transparency Initiative in order to enable the tracking, coordination, effectiveness and additionality of climate finance; and to ensure the quality of the delivered funds meet internationally agreed  aid effectiveness commitments, UN criteria and G77 demands;

          Ensure that the information provided is comprehensive, covering the full range of channels, policy, terms and conditions, allocations and disbursements, details of transactions, and governance arrangements of the climate funds.


[1]  EU position for the Copenhagen Climate Conference, Council conclusions  21 October 2009, 14790/09

[2]Disaggregate how much funding is additional to current ODA levels and how much is additional to the ODA targets pledged for 2010 and 2015 (0.56% GNI: EU collective target for 2010; and 0.7% GNI: EU target for 2015).

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