Call for transparency in climate change funding

The Bangkok Call for Action is a set of recommendations which have been developed at the Asia-Pacific Climate Change Finance and Aid Effectiveness dialogue held on 19th-20th October 2010 in Bangkok. The meeting focussed on the necessity of climate funding being used effectively, and as such transparency in funds was highlighted as a prerequisite.

The dialogue was facilitated by the Capacity Development for Development Effectiveness (CDDE) Facility and brought together over 75 participants representing governments, development partners, international agencies and representatives from parliament and civil society.

The executive summary of the synthesis report prepared for the Conference was based on 5 country case studies, and advised that:

  • “It is hard to quantify the external financing for climate change received.  It is simply not adequately recorded.
  • Accessing funding is often a challenge; there are diverse channels, with specific processes and procedures requiring specialist knowledge.
  • Systems are not yet in place to record climate change financing (following on from i. above).  At the same time, there are no specific commitments from funders to use country system for climate change financing.
  • Whilst co-ordination mechanism exist that might enable funders to harmonise their assistance, co-ordination and information sharing mechanisms particular to climate change financing have yet to be fully formalized.” (Realising Development Effectiveness: Making the Most of Climate Change Finance in Asia and the Pacific p.5 – 6)

Based on these findings, the Bangkok Call for Action recommends that international funders working globally should:

  • “Agree with governments what is new money, based on common definitions and establish clear baselines and tracking systems for moving forward on all publically provided climate change finance, and
  • Improve predictability of climate finance by moving from pledges to funding,  ensuring timely disbursement and providing information on commitments that fits with countries’ budgeting cycles so that it can be included on the government’s budget.” (The Bangkok Call for Action p.4)

These are important recommendations, but without a common standard for disclosing the information, the potential of aid will not be realised. Comparability is what transforms more aid information into better aid information. With a common standard and comparable information, all aid flows can be seen together. Aid donors can then coordinate their plans to ensure duplication or underfunding is minimised. It also allows recipient governments can see the combined flows of all aid into their country and link it to their budgets, letting them know what is happening in their country, and also enabling informed allocation of their own domestic budget.

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