UNFCCC opens books on $30bn climate fund

Christiana Figueres, UN Climate Change chief

UNFCCC chief Figueres will be hoping increased transparency brings commitments to the Green Climate Fund (Source: UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras)

By RTCC staff

The UNFCCC has launched an online portal to reveal how the $30bn fast-start finance is being distributed.

The UNFCCC portal will allow anyone to track how money is being distributed from the fast-action climate fund, which is designed to channel money to from developed nations to those most vulnerable to climate change between 2010 and 2012.

“When governments meet in Durban for the UN Climate Change Conference, it is important that they understand the extent to which climate finance has been provided by developed countries,” said UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres.

“This information is key to understanding how and where the finance is being provided, and by whom. It allows for transparency and trust-building among governments on the fulfilment of financial commitments and the projects supported by the funds, which benefit people in developing countries,” she added.

“There are important lessons that can be drawn from fast-start finance both in the delivery of long-term finance and the monitoring, reporting and verification of support,” said Figueres.

“Governments now need to indicate scaling up of finance beyond 2012,” she added.

Despite the progress, an anti-corruption group has said more must be done to ensure developed countries cannot count existing aid donations as contributions to the fund.

“Firstly it would be important to say that we’re very pleased that the UNFCCC has begun tracking climate finance centrally. A lack of clarity over the definition of ‘new and additional’ funding has led to considerable discretion on the part of developed countries to report as they choose,” said Alice Harrison, communications coordinator with Transparency International’s climate governance integrity programme.

Harrison praises the UNFCCC for making the data available publicly and for making the “first steps” towards meaningful transparency. However, there remain concerns over the reporting criteria.

The fast-start finance will be superseded by the Green Climate Fund with $100bn available from 2020. Both will be up for further discussion in Durban.

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