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The international climate finance accounting muddle: is there hope on the horizon?

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The sources and governance of climate finance have been widely debated since the 2009 climate change summit in Copenhagen, when rich countries promised to provide US$ 30 billion in additional climate finance by 2012 and to mobilize US$ 100 billion a year by 2020 to address the mitigation and adaptation needs of developing countries. Have developed countries respected their financial commitments? Which countries have been the main beneficiaries of international climate money? As simple as these questions may seem, answers to them have proved to be highly controversial and have contributed to a continuous erosion of trust between Parties in international climate negotiations. This article explores the controversies around international climate finance figures. It examines how the lack of internationally agreed modalities to account for climate finance has given rise to a plethora of accounting and reporting practices that leads to widely contrasting statements on climate finance. We show that, despite some gaps, the Paris Agreement’s “enhanced transparency framework” could lead to marked improvements in the way climate finance is accounted and reported.
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Climate and Development
ISSN: 1756-5529 (Print) 1756-5537 (Online) Journal homepage: https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/tcld20
The international climate finance accounting
muddle: is there hope on the horizon?
Romain Weikmans & J. Timmons Roberts
To cite this article: Romain Weikmans & J. Timmons Roberts (2019) The international climate
finance accounting muddle: is there hope on the horizon?, Climate and Development, 11:2, 97-111,
DOI: 10.1080/17565529.2017.1410087
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/17565529.2017.1410087
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The international climate nance accounting muddle: is there hope on the horizon?
Romain Weikmans
a
*and J. Timmons Roberts
b
a
Centre for Studies on Sustainable Development, Institute for Environmental Management and Land Use Planning, Université Libre de
Bruxelles/Free University of Brussels, Av. F. D. Roosevelt 50 CP130/03, 1050 Ixelles, Belgium;
b
Climate & Development Lab, Institute for
Environment & Society, Brown University, Box 1951, Providence, RI 02912-1951, USA
(Received 1 July 2016; nal version received 22 August 2017)
The sources and governance of climate nance have been widely debated since the 2009 climate change summit in
Copenhagen, when rich countries promised to provide US$ 30 billion in additional climate nance by 2012 and to
mobilize US$ 100 billion a year by 2020 to address the mitigation and adaptation needs of developing countries. Have
developed countries respected their nancial commitments? Which countries have been the main beneciaries of
international climate money? As simple as these questions may seem, answers to them have proved to be highly
controversial and have contributed to a continuous erosion of trust between Parties in international climate negotiations.
This article explores the controversies around international climate nance gures. It examines how the lack of
internationally agreed modalities to account for climate nance has given rise to a plethora of accounting and reporting
practices that leads to widely contrasting statements on climate nance. We show that, despite some gaps, the Paris
Agreementsenhanced transparency frameworkcould lead to marked improvements in the way climate nance is
accounted and reported.
Keywords: international climate nance; climate negotiations; climate policy; foreign aid; transparency of support; UNFCCC
1. Introduction
Copenhagen, December 2009. The contentious 15th Con-
ference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Frame-
work Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
eventually led to an unprecedented commitment by devel-
oped countries
1
to provide funds to help developing
countries mitigate their greenhouse gas emissions and
adapt to the adverse effects of climate change. After dif-
cult and prolonged negotiations, developed countries col-
lectively promised to provide new and additional
nancial resources approaching US$ 30 billion during
20102012 with balanced allocation between mitigation
and adaptation (a short-term commitment known as
Fast-Start Finance) and to jointly mobilizeUS$ 100
billion per year by 2020 to address the needs of developing
countries (UNFCCC, 2009, para. 8). Those nancial com-
mitments were reiterated in various COP Decisions includ-
ing in the Cancun Agreements (UNFCCC, 2010, para. 95
99) and during the Paris Climate Conference in December
2015 when the US$ 100 billion mobilization goal was
extended to 2025 (UNFCCC, 2015, para. 53).
Have developed countries respected their nancial
commitments? Which countries have been the highest
contributors of international climate nance
2
so far?
Which ones have been the main beneciaries of inter-
national climate money? As simple as these questions
may seem, answers to them have proved to be highly con-
troversial in the debates around climate nance and have
contributed to a continuous erosion of trust between
Parties in international climate negotiations. While
wealthy nations claim they have delivered on promises of
Fast-Start Finance (see UNFCCC, 2011a,2012a,2013)
and that they are condent they will meet the US$100
billion goal(see Roadmap to US$ 100 billion, 2016,
p. 4), activists (e.g. Oxfam, 2012,2016), researchers (e.g.
Ciplet, Fields, Madden, Khan, & Roberts, 2012; Nakhooda
et al., 2013; WRI, 2013,2015), other observers (e.g. Euro-
pean Court of Auditors, 2014) and developing countries
negotiators (e.g. Indian Ministry of Finance, 2015) all
dispute the amounts developed countries say they have
given in climate nance.
This article examines how the lack of internationally
agreed modalities to account for climate nance has
given rise to a plethora of accounting and reporting prac-
tices that leads to widely contrasting statements on
climate nance. As this article argues, the absence of
© 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
*Corresponding author. Email: romain.weikmans@ulb.ac.be
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-N oDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-
nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or
built upon in any way.
Climate and Development, 2019
Vol. 11, No. 2, 97111, https://doi.org/10.1080/17565529.2017.1410087
accounting rules hampers any meaningful comparisons
between developed countriesnancial effort towards
climate action in developing countries. It also profoundly
complicates the tracking of any potential sectorial or geo-
graphical gaps in the allocation of international climate
nance.
Based on our observation of multiple UNFCCC nego-
tiating sessions and on interviews with negotiators and
observers, the rst part of this article (Section 2) examines
the most recent contestations between and within devel-
oped and developing countries around international climate
nance gures. As these controversies partly illustrate,
developed countriesgovernments are judged both intern-
ally and externally on the basis of the climate nance
gures that they report to the UNFCCC Secretariat. Indi-
vidual efforts are discussed between developed countries;
they are contrasted with each other and measured against
parameters such as population, gross domestic product or
greenhouse gas emissions (see e.g. Nakhooda et al.,
2013; Nakhooda & Fransen, 2013; Green Climate Fund,
2017).
Climate nance gures are also frequently presented as
make-or-breakissues within international climate change
negotiations. The publication of climate nance statistics
has become an occasion for discussing national aid and
climate policies in many developed countries. Non-govern-
mental organizations (NGOs) and the media comment on
the performance of governments; members of developed
countriesParliaments may question the Ministers in
charge of development co-operation, nance or the
environment if the result is deemed to fall short of promises
or expectations.
Given the prominence accorded to climate nance stat-
istics, the denitions and methodologies underlying them
are of more than academic interest and deserve careful scru-
tiny. The second part of this article (Section 3) therefore
explores the variety of accounting methodologies and
reporting practices of developed and developing countries.
This article concludes by assessing the opportunities
brought by the Paris Agreement regarding the creation of
a robust accounting and reporting framework for climate
nance (Section 4).
2. Contestations around climate nance gures
Tensions on climate nance gures have been going on
since the signature of the UNFCCC in 1992 (see e.g.
Hicks, Parks, Roberts, & Tierney, 2008; Keohane &
Levy, 1996; Pallemaerts & Armstrong, 2009) but they
reached a peak shortly before the 2015 United Nations
climate negotiations in Paris when the Organisation for
Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and
the research and policy organization Climate Policy Initiat-
ive (CPI) released a major report on how much funding
developed countries were delivering to the developing
world as part of their US$ 100 billion goal formulated
under the UNFCCC.
The report (OECD-CPI, 2015) was requested in
urgency, only ve months before the COP 21 by the Per-
uvian and French presidencies of the COP (Peru hosted the
COP 20 in Lima in December 2014) in order to provide
clear and reassuring informationregarding the respect
of this commitment and to improve trustbetween devel-
oped and developing countries (OECD-CPI, 2015, p. 9).
Building on a common understanding of mobilized
climate nance,
3
the OECD-CPI report put forward
gures (respectively US$ 52 and 62 billion in 2013 and
2014) claimed as relevant for the US$ 100 billion goal.
While acknowledging and documenting many problems
with the available data sources, the report was timed to
provide a credible resource for negotiators ahead of the
December 2015 Conference in Paris.
But it did not have the desired effect. Instead, represen-
tatives from developing nations bristled at both the reports
conclusions and the methods by which it was commis-
sioned and prepared. A report by the Indian Ministry of
Finance noted that the only credible number is () US$
2.2 billion in gross climate fund disbursements from 17
special climate change () funds created for the specic
purpose and not US$ 57 billion average for 201314 as
exaggeratedly reported by the OECD(Indian Ministry
of Finance, 2015, p. 11).
Speaking on behalf of the G77 + China, South Africas
chief negotiator at the United Nations climate talks in
Bonn, Nozipho Joyce Mxakato-Diseko said:
I am not able to comment on or judge the report because we
dont know the veracity, credibility and the methodology of
the report or who was consulted. Developing countries
were not. It has no status in the UN negotiations. It was
not commissioned under the mandate of the UNFCCC.
(Quoted in Sethi, 2015)
The legitimacy of the OECD a club of rich countries
in dening for the world what should count as climate
nancehas been widely questioned by observers (see
e.g. ActionAid, 2015; Boreinstein & Ritter, 2015; 100
billion promise? Berlin: German Climate Finance, by
Oxfam Deutschland, Brot für die Welt, Germanwatch,
Heinrich Böll Stiftung. Retrieved fro Kowalzig, 2015;
Roberts & Weikmans, 2015). For them, it seems unaccep-
table that more than 150 Parties to the UNFCCC were
excluded from these denitional discussions. In addition,
efforts of this kind by the OECD risk competing with
similar efforts currently carried out under the UNFCCC.
In this context, who could expect the OECD-CPI report
to reinforce trust between developed and developing
countries?
After the release of the report, senior advisor to the
Indian Ministry of Finance and climate nance negotiator
Rajasree Ray said:
98 R. Weikmans and J.T. Roberts
The most fundamental assessment should have been that
the total ows (of climate nance) provided by the devel-
oped countries should be matched to the total ows
received by the developing countries. The report is silent
on this. (Quoted in Sethi, 2015)
It is not the only element the report was silent on. The
OECD-CPI (2015) report eluded key elements in inter-
national climate nance discussions. For example, the
issue of additionality(whether funds are new and
additional) is not even mentioned in the OECD-CPI
report. Yet, many commentators (e.g. Nakhooda et al.,
2013; Stadelmann, Roberts, & Michaelowa, 2011)have
highlighted the fact that a signicant part of climate
nance reported by developed countries cannot be con-
sidered as new and additional, raising concerns that
nancial means devoted to the ght against climate
change are simply diverted from other development
objectives, precisely as feared by developing nations
when the UNFCCC was signed 25 years ago (see Hicks
et al., 2008).
While putting forward aggregate gures for climate
nance in 20132014, the OECD-CPI report also provided
gures for the split between adaptation and mitigation, as
well as for the funding sources that were used (bilateral
public nance, multilateral public nance, export credits
and mobilized private nance). However, it did not
provide any gures on individual developed countries
contributions to international climate nance efforts or on
the allocation of climate nance to individual recipient
countries. In addition, all nancial instruments are
accounted for at cash face value in the gures of the
report and the OECD-CPI did not provide any details on
the split between grants, concessional loans and non-con-
cessional loans in its estimates.
Importantly, the tensions revolving around climate
nance accounting go beyond the NorthSouth divide.
For example, Artur Runge-Metzger, lead climate negotia-
tor for the European Commission, declared in 2012: We
certainly have fully delivered on Fast-Start Finance and
honoured our commitments(Quoted in Morales, 2012).
His claim was however disowned a few months later by
the European Court of Auditors when it wrote that The
extent to which the Fast-Start Finance commitment was
fullled by the European Union and its member states is
unclear(European Court of Auditors, 2014,p.26).The
ofcial reply of the European Commission added to the
confusion: The Fast-Start Finance commitment was met
within the parameters given in the relevant UNFCCC
documents(European Court of Auditors, 2014,p.47).
There were also tensions between and within the European
Commission and some member states on the gures of
climate nance provided during the Fast-Start Finance
period. Some countries were pointed as laggards in the
provision of climate nance but defended themselves
by stating that their accounting methodologies were far
more conservative than the ones used by the European
Commission and by other member states (Condential
interviews, 2014).
The preparation of the OECD-CPI report also gave rise
to strong tensions between developed countries. In particu-
lar, strong disagreements appeared when Japan and Austra-
lia wanted to include the nancial support they provide for
so-called high-efciency coal plants in developing
countries towards the aggregate climate nance gures
put forward in the report (Condential interviews, 2015).
While the total climate nance gures that appears in the
OECD-CPI report do not include nance related to coal
projects (except if related to carbon capture and storage),
Japan reported as climate nance US$ 3.2 billion for
such projects in 20132014 in its Second Biennial Report
submitted to the UNFCCC Secretariat (Japan, 2015;
OECD-CPI, 2015, p. 10).
In addition, Germany made the case for providing
information on public budgetary sources and/or grant
equivalent in addition to gures of public climate nance
provided at cash face value. The OECD-CPI (2015,
p. 51) report noted that () the group intends to
provide information on public budgetary sources and/or
grant equivalent in future reportingbut did not provide
any information in this regard. Germany was the only
Annex II countries that reported its climate nance to the
UNFCCC in terms of public budgetary nance in its
Second Biennial Report published in December 2015
(Germany, 2015). In condential interviews, staff in other
foreign ministries of nations who took more conservative
approaches to claiming what counts as climate nance
expressed frustration at what was being counted in the
looser nations.
The next section explores how these contestations
around climate nance gures can be linked to the
absence of robust accounting framework under the
UNFCCC.
3. Review of current accounting and reporting
practices
3.1. Climate nance provided and mobilized
Current guidelines agreed under the UNFCCC (2011b,
Decision 2/CP.17) require Annex II Parties to report on
climate nance both in their National Communications
and in their Biennial Reports, to be respectively submitted
every four and every two years to the Convention Sec-
retariat.
4
Since 2012 Annex II Parties are required to
report to the UNFCCC using a standard format known as
the common tabular format(CTF) (UNFCCC, 2012b,
Decision 19/CP.18).
5
However, there is no required
project-level reporting, so users of this information are
largely unable to understand what is included in the
Climate and Development 99
summary information reported in the CTF tables (van
Asselt, Weikmans, & Roberts, 2017).
UNFCCC guidelines still fall far short of what would
constitute a robust accounting framework for climate
nance. Eight years after Copenhagen, the question of
what countsas climate nance is still not internationally
agreed, even between OECD Development Assistance
Committee (DAC) countries or European Union (EU)
member states. At an even more fundamental level, to
assess the newness and additionalityof nancial contri-
butions, negotiators should have determined a baseline
against which any claim of additionality could be stated
(Stadelmann et al., 2011). Such a baseline still does not
exist. This is particularly problematic: If we compare this
with mitigation policy, for example, this would be like
the European Union or the United States committing to
reduce its emissions by 30% by 2020, without indicating
if this percentage was below 1990 or 2005 levels. A
climate nance pledge is almost meaningless without
such clarications.
Overall then, the UNFCCC guidelines leave extreme
discretion to developed countries regarding climate
nance accounting. Each developed country can decide
what it counts as climate nance and why its climate
nance can be considered as new and additional.As
the next section will explore in more detail, contributing
countries have consequently adopted a large variety of
accounting practices on climate nance. Such a variety of
accounting practices is not a problem per se though it
makes both the comparison of developed countrys per-
formance in the provision of climate nance and the assess-
ment of the fullment of climate nance promises more
complex. The most severe problem rather lies in the fact
that many developed countries have so far failed to be
transparent and complete in their reporting to the
UNFCCC on the methodologies that they used to account
for climate nance (UNFCCC, 2017a; Weikmans et al.,
2016).
Indeed, while developed countries are required to
submit documentation that describes in a rigorous,
robust and transparent manner, the underlying assump-
tions and methodologies used to produce information on
nance”–including on how this nance can be con-
sidered new and additional(UNFCCC, 2011b, annex I,
para. 1315), the level of compliance towards those
UNFCCC climate nance transparency provisions
greatly varies from one contributing country to another
(UNFCCC, 2017a; Weikmans et al., 2016). In addition,
accounting methodologies used by some countries have
changed over time, rendering very difcult any assess-
ment of trends in the provision of climate nance. Simi-
larly, climate nance gures contained in a given
developed countrys National Communications are some-
times inconsistent with the gures provided in its Biennial
Reports (UNFCCC, 2017a; Weikmans et al., 2016). Non-
transparent and/or incomplete reporting to the UNFCCC
means that it is impossible to accurately compare devel-
oped countriesnancial effort towards adaptation and
mitigation in developing countries. It leads to contrasting
statements on the fullment of developed countriesnan-
cial promises and to the erosion of trust between Parties in
international climate negotiations. It also profoundly com-
plicates the tracking of potential gaps in the nancial
means that are needed for mitigation and adaptation in
developing countries.
3.1.1. Bilateral public ows
So far, most developed countries have relied heavily
though not exclusively on data collected using the
OECD DAC Rio marker methodology to report to the
UNFCCC Secretariat on their nancial commitments
towards developing countries. However, as highlighted
by the OECD (2012, p. 62; 2016, p. 55), this methodology
was designed to produce descriptive data to track the main-
streaming of Rio Conventions considerations into develop-
ment co-operation practices; it was not originally intended
to monitor nancial pledges. This section rst explores the
limits of the Rio marker methodology to accurately monitor
the fullment of climate nance pledges. Some of these
limits have been partly recognized by a number of devel-
oped countries which have consequently modied the
methodology for their own nancial reporting to the
climate Convention. As this section then demonstrates,
the result of this is a variety of poorly harmonized account-
ing and reporting practices of climate nance to the
UNFCCC.
3.1.1.1. The Rio marker methodology. The Rio marker
methodology is a scoring system of three values used by
OECD DAC countries since 1998, in which all bilateral
ofcial development assistance (ODA) projects
6
are
markedas targeting climate change mitigation as its
principalobjective, as a signicantobjective, or as
not targeting the objective. Each aid project is also screened
against the Rio markers biological diversityand deserti-
cation. The climate change adaptation marker which
uses the same three-value system was only introduced
in 2009 and the rst data on this marker became available
in March 2012 for 2010 ODA ows. Projects marked as
having a principalmitigation, adaptation, biodiversity
or desertication objective would theoretically not have
been funded but for that objective; projects marked signi-
canthave other primary objectives but have been formu-
lated or adjusted to help meet mitigation, adaptation,
biodiversity or/and desertication concerns. The Rio
marker system exclusively relies on developed countries
self-reporting; The data are then collected and made avail-
able online by the DAC Secretariat.
7
100 R. Weikmans and J.T. Roberts
Several studies (e.g. Junghans & Harmeling, 2012;
Michaelowa & Michaelowa, 2011; Oxfam, 2012; Weik-
mans, Roberts, Baum, Bustos, & Durand, 2017) have
called into question the quality of the mitigationand
adaptationRio markers data. All of them highlight the
fact that the current reporting system which exclusively
depends on developed countriesself-reporting is prone
to huge overestimations. Far fewer projects than the devel-
oped countries reported were found to be relevant to what
can be considered climate change mitigation and adaptation.
For example, Weikmans et al. (2017) re-evaluated 5200 pro-
jects that countries reported as adaptation relatedto the
OECD for 2012. Developed countries claimed that US$
10.1 billion of bilateral development aid that year was
adaptation related, with US$ 2.7 billion explicitly target-
ing adaptation as a principal objective. However, Weik-
mans et al. (2017) found that only US$ 2.4 billion
appeared to be genuinely adaptation related, and only US$
1.2 billion targeted adaptation as a principal objective.
Human errors, the OECD DACs broad denitions of adap-
tation, political incentives to miscategorize, and lack of
clarity about what activities constitute adaptationare
probably all to blame (Junghans & Harmeling, 2012).
Many critiques levelled by those studies against the
quality of the Rio marker data have also been acknowl-
edged by the DAC Secretariat (e.g. OECD, 2013a for the
adaptation marker) and by several DAC members (e.g.
for Sweden, see Wingqvist et al., 2011; for Finland and
Switzerland, see OECD, 2012, p. 66; for Belgium, see
ADE, 2013, pp. 2324; for Austria, see Ledant, Schuh,
Tordy, Gruev, & Beck, 2016, pp. 6669). The Rio marker
system has always had problems with different DAC
member countries using different staff, in different pos-
itions and disparate methods to categorize projects (Con-
dential interviews, 2015). For its part, the UNFCCC
Standing Committee on Finance recently observed that,
There is scope for interpretation in how the markers are
applied. This provides exibility, but can lead to non-com-
parable data submissions from donors(UNFCCC SCF,
2014, p. 82).
Importantly, governments are under pressure to show
they are taking action on climate change, and the Rio
marker self-reporting system allowed pressures to result
in over-reportingof projects. Some researchers (e.g.
Michaelowa & Michaelowa, 2011) found a relationship
between levels of over-coding and the political pressure
on governments to show they were doing something
about climate change (varying, for example, by the level
of environmental or Left party representation in
parliament).
The Rio marker methodology lacks several features that
would make it a relevant indicator for climate nance
pledges-monitoring uses (see Weikmans & Roberts,
2016). Most importantly, the Rio marker system lacks gran-
ularity: when an aid project is marked as principallyor
signicantlytargeting mitigation or adaptation, the
whole cost of the project is considered to be mitigation or
adaptation related in the Rio marker statistics though
only a component of the project may target a mitigation
or adaptation objective. In addition, the Rio marker meth-
odology allows for an aid project to be marked as targeting
several Rio markers. While it is useful to recognize poten-
tial overlaps between the objectives of different Rio Con-
ventions, the situation is more problematic when the
same aid project is marked as principallytargeting
more than one of the four Rio markers. In those cases
which are common for many DAC countries , the use of
the Rio marker methodology for nancial accounting
may result in double-, triple- or even quadruple-counting
towards different nancial pledges made under the three
Rio Conventions, which seems inappropriate, even
according to the OECD DAC Secretariat (OECD, 2012,
p. 62).
In addition, the Rio markers are applicable to bilateral
ODA commitments; data on climate-related disbursements
are currently not available in DAC statistics. Consequently,
there is no way to know whether or not an intended aid
project has been carried out: It could have been modied
or even cancelled but would still appears unchanged in
DAC commitments statistics. Finally, the Rio marker meth-
odology does not allow the identication of new and
additionalclimate nance. What is more, a change in
the Rio marker methodology to take into account the
newness and additionalityof nancial contributions
seems to be explicitly rejected by the DAC (see OECD,
2013b, p. 10).
Efforts to modify the Rio marker methodology towards
aquantitative rather than a descriptive approach have been
underway for several years (for a synthesis, see OECD,
2015), but with limited tangible results to date. These
efforts are, among others, informed by those of several mul-
tilateral development banks, which have elaborated their
own methodology to track climate nance. In particular,
the DAC has recently (14 April 2016) updated its guidance
for applying the Rio marker adaptationby recommend-
ing as a best practicethat DAC members use the so-
called three-step approachelaborated and used by a
group of multilateral development banks (see section
3.1.2. below) to justify for a principal score(OECD,
2016, p. 58). Notably, however, the DAC members left
out an important part of this three-step approach, which
was the part that indicates: when applying the method-
ology, the reporting of adaptation nance is limited solely
to those project activities (i.e. projects, project components
or elements/proportions of projects) that are clearly linked
to the climate vulnerability context(MDB, 2016, p. 31).
This means that the whole cost of a project can still be con-
sidered to be adaptation related in the Rio marker statistics
under this best practiceeven if only a component of the
project may target an adaptation objective.
Climate and Development 101
3.1.1.2. Reporting to the UNFCCC on bilateral ows by
annex II countries. All developed countries with some
notable exceptions, including those of the United
Kingdom and of the United States, which use their own
accounting approaches base their nancial reporting to
the UNFCCC on the data that they collect with the Rio
marker methodology (OECD-CPI, 2015, p. 49). While con-
stituting the basis of most developed countriesreporting to
the UNFCCC, Rio marker gures do not necessarily equal
the climate nance gures that those countries actually
report to the UNFCCC (OECD, 2016, p. 55). Most devel-
oped countries have indeed modied the Rio marker meth-
odology in different ways in an attempt to overcome the
many problems associated with the use of this methodology
for their nancial reporting to the UNFCCC. The result of
this is a variety of poorly harmonized monitoring and report-
ing practices. Most notably, the volume of nance associated
with the Rio markers is often scaled down by using coef-
cientsto differentiate between funding marked as targeting
climate change as a signicant objective”–reecting that
these projects have other principal objectives. These coef-
cients differ across DAC members and range from 0 to
100% (see Table 1). As the OECD acknowledges there
has been limited transparency regarding these practices to
date(OECD-CPI, 2015, p. 32).
More broadly, current accounting practices impede
meaningful comparisons to be made between the nancial
effort of each developed country (Roberts & Weikmans,
2017). In particular, Annex II Parties with the exception
of Germany, which provides budgetary effort gures
account for all their nancial instruments at cash face
value. This inates reported climate nance gures of
those contributors with a predominance of loans in their
portfolio in comparison with countries that mainly
provide their climate nance in grants. This situation is
further exacerbated by the absence of any agreed denition
of concessionalityunder the UNFCCC; developed
countries can decide to count as climate nance the loans
that they provide to developing countries at market rates.
In addition, in the absence of any internationally agreed
denition of the terms new and additional, each
country has its own denition of those terms. They range
from recognizing that climate nancing should be
additional to the international development aid goal of
0.7% of gross national income(Norway, 2015, p. 59) to
stating with regard to additionality that since ratifying
the UNFCCC in 1992, United States international climate
nance increased from virtually zero to around $2.7
billion per year in scal years 2013 and 2014(United
States, 2016, p. 46). These are patently contradictory pos-
itions on this important issue. Most denitions provided
by developed countries are ambiguous and impede com-
parisons of each developed countrys performance regard-
ing the provision of climate nance.
8
Table 1 shows other differing practices between Annex
II Parties with regard to a number of important accounting
and reporting parameters. While some countries only
report to the UNFCCC climate nance that meets the
ODA criteria, others also account for other ofcial ows
(OOF) i.e. non-concessional developmental ows such
as non-concessional loans, equity or guarantees. Addition-
ally, while some countries report committedclimate
nance in their Second Biennial Reports, others report
gures on their climate nance disbursements.
9
For
those countries with a predominance of grants in their
portfolios, the difference between committed and dis-
bursed funding is minor and would not signicantly
change their climate nance numbers. But for developed
countries with large multi-year loans, signicant differ-
ences and uctuations could be observed between yearly
commitments and disbursements (see OECD-CPI, 2015,
p. 31).
Only some countries have component-level climate
nance accounting (i.e. only parts of the amount of a
given aid project is counted as mitigation or adaptation rel-
evant, and not the whole amount of the project). Only 8 out
of 24 Annex II Parties provide the UNFCCC Secretariat
with their climate nance data at the project level; all
other developed countries only report aggregates or semi-
aggregates (e.g. gures for world regions or countries).
This is despite the fact that international experience in
tracking development aid suggests that individual project-
level data are crucial for improving effectiveness and
coordination among contributors, recipients, implementing
agencies and civil society (Tierney et al., 2011). Robust
project data also are important for allowing watchdog
groups and citizens in recipient nations to hold decision-
makers accountable for the climate funds they receive
(Weikmans et al., 2016).
Another complication makes multi-year comparisons
almost impossible: many countries have changed their
climate nance accounting and reporting methodologies
between their First and their Second Biennial Reports. Is
the rise in public nance contributions through bilateral
channels observed in the OECD-CPI report (OECD-CPI,
2015, p. 21) from 2011 to 2012 (US$ 14.5 billion per
year) to 20132014 (US$ 22.8 billion per year) due to
increases in budgets specically allocated to climate
change, or is it due to methodological changes in account-
ing (e.g. increased coverage of data about non-concessional
ows targeting climate objectives)? The OECD-CPI report
acknowledges that part of this rise is due to methodological
changes but does not provide an assessment of its extent
(OECD-CPI, 2015, p. 21). Details obtained from some
developed countries make it however clear that such meth-
odological changes can play an important role in the
observed rise in bilateral climate nance (Condential
interviews, 2015).
102 R. Weikmans and J.T. Roberts
Table 1. Diversity of approaches in accounting and reporting to the UNFCCC for bilateral public climate nance (20132014).
Coverage Point of measurement Quantication Format of data
ODA OOF
Inclusion of
coal nanceCommitments Disbursements
Component
approach
Coefcient on Rio
marker Principal
Coefcient on Rio
marker Signicant
Project
level
Aggregates or
semi-aggregates
Australia ✓✓ ✓ 100% 30%
a
Austria ✓✓ ✓ 100% 50%
Belgium ✓✓ Range of coefcients
Canada ✓✓100%
b
Denmark ✓✓100% 100%
EU Institutions ✓✓ ✓ 100% 50%
Finland ✓✓Range of coefcients
France ✓✓ 100% 40%
Germany ✓✓ ✓ ✓ 100% 50% ✓✓
Greece ✓✓100% 100%
Iceland ✓✓ 100% 100%
Ireland ✓✓100% 50%
Italy ✓✓ ✓ ✓ 100% 40%
Japan ✓✓ ✓
c
d
100% 100%
Luxembourg ✓✓ 100% 100%
Netherlands ✓✓100% 40%
New Zealand ✓✓100% 30%
e
Norway ✓✓100% 100%
Portugal ✓✓ ✓ 100% 0%
Spain ✓✓ 100% 2040%
f
✓✓
Sweden ✓✓100% 40%
Switzerland ✓✓51100% 150%
United Kingdom ✓✓Uses another methodology for its reporting
to the UNFCCC
✓✓
United States ✓✓ ✓ Use another methodology for its reporting
to the UNFCCC
Source: Modied from OECD-CPI (2015, p. 43; pp. 4546) (based on responses to OECD survey on expected reporting by Annex II Parties in their Second Biennial Reports), with additions from our screening
of Annex II PartiesSecond Biennial Reports that were to be submitted to the UNFCCC Secretariat by 1 January 2016.
a
Where climate change is a signicant objective, project-by-project assessment is undertaken to determine the climate change component, and that component is counted as climate support. Where it is not
possible to disaggregate the climate change component, Australia uses a 30% coefcient of the signicantportfolio.
b
Signicantactivities are screened and the most climate-relevant are counted.
c
For loans and grants.
d
For technical assistance.
e
Default, unless an activity-speciccoefcient is available.
f
Activities targeting climate mitigation or adaptation as a signicant objective (only) are accounted as 20% and operations targeting both mitigation and adaptation as a signicant objective are accounted as
40%.
Climate and Development 103
3.1.2. Multilateral public ows
For Annex II Parties, obtaining data on climate-related con-
tributions owing through multilateral agencies is crucial
because without this information they cannot report their
multilateral climate-specic funding in their national
reports to the UNFCCC Secretariat. Reporting on contri-
butions made to multilateral climate change funds (such
as the Least Developed Countries Fund or the Adaptation
Fund of the Kyoto Protocol) is relatively straightforward.
However, estimating the climate-specic share of core con-
tributions made to multilateral institutions is much more
complex. So far, developed countries have adopted a
variety of approaches in this regard, which considerably
impede meaningful comparisons between developed
countriesperformances (OECD-CPI, 2015; UNFCCC
SCF, 2014).
In the future, many developed countries plan to draw on
OECD DAC imputed multilateral contributions data for the
reporting of multilateral nance following recent improve-
ments in data under the DAC (OECD-CPI, 2015). To calcu-
late these imputed multilateral contributions, the climate-
related share within each international organizations port-
folio is rst estimated and then attributed to developed
countries based on their share of core contributions to
that organization. For some multilateral agencies, this
climate-related share is currently estimated by using the
Rio marker methodology the total cost of projects cate-
gorized as having climate as its primaryor just a signi-
cantobjective is counted.
In addition, since 2012, the 7 biggest multilateral devel-
opment banks, joined in 2015 by the 20 members of the
International Development Finance Club, have been
using another methodology for their climate nance track-
ing (see MDB, 2016, pp. 3138). The multilateral develop-
ment bankstracking methodology is interesting to look at
as it is arguably more rigorous and granular compared to
the Rio marker approach and therefore more suited for
pledge-monitoring purposes. The two methodologies
have similarities (e.g. comparable denitions of mitiga-
tion/adaptation and application of the method at the level
of commitments of projects) but differ in some crucial
aspects (for a detailed analysis, see OECD, 2013c).
A positive list of eligible activities is used for the track-
ing of mitigation nance. The focus here is on the type of
activity that is executed, and not on its purpose. For the
tracking of adaptation nance, the group of multilateral
development banks elaborated a three-step approach:
(i) setting out the context of risks, vulnerabilities and
impacts related to climate variability and climate change
aproject or programme seeks to address; (ii) stating the
intent to address the identied risks, vulnerabilities and
impacts in project documentation and (iii) demonstrating
a direct link between the identied risks, vulnerabilities
and impacts, and the actual activities nanced by that
project or programme (MDB, 2016, p. 31). In comparison
with the Rio marker methodology, more documentation
and analysis are therefore required before a project may
be determined to address adaptation.
Additionally, rather than reporting the whole project as
climate relevant(which is the approach of the Rio marker
system), only components, sub-components, elements or
proportions of projects can be reported as climate
nancein the multilateral development banksmethod-
ology. This can lead to huge differences: for example,
when screening a climate-proofed infrastructure project,
the three-step methodology would only measure the incre-
mental cost of adaptation within the project, while the full
value of the project might be counted under the Rio marker
methodology. There is however limited transparency
associated with the multilateral development banks
climate nance reporting as the data are not released at
the project level; indeed, the group of multilateral develop-
ment banks only makes publicly available aggregates or
semi-aggregates of climate nance (see e.g. MDB, 2016).
3.1.3. Private ows
Repeated statements from developed country ofcials and
high-level experts state atly that most climate nance will
have to come from private sources, as the private economy
moves trillions of dollars in investments that set the energy
consumption and climate resilience patterns for communities
and nations (Global Commission on the Economy and
Climate, 2014; Green Growth Alliance, 2014). However,
there is no agreement under the UNFCCC on what should
count as mobilized private nancefor the US$ 100
billion goal or how it will be reported. So far, most devel-
oped countries have not reported on private climate nance
to the UNFCCC Secretariat.
Some countries have very recently started assessing the
private nance that they mobilize through their public inter-
ventions (e.g. for France, see Abeille, Bolscher, Ligot,
Million, & Veenstra, 2015; for Denmark, see Mostert,
Bolscher, & Veenstra, 2015; for Norway, see Torvanger,
Narbel, & Lund, 2015; for Belgium, see van der Laan,
Veenstra, Bolscher, & Rademaekers, 2015). However, the
methodologies used are very preliminary and differ from
one country to another. In addition, some bilateral develop-
ment nance institutions have elaborated their own account-
ing methodology (Stumhofer, Detken, Harnisch, & Lueg,
2015); complementing similar efforts made by multilateral
development banks (MDB, 2016). The OECD DAC
Secretariat is also currently coordinating major research
efforts on the tracking of private climate nance.
10
These
diverse and preliminary practices do not allow observers
to meaningfully assess the current levels of private
nance, let alone to compare each developed countrys per-
formance in mobilizing private climate nance.
104 R. Weikmans and J.T. Roberts
3.2. Climate nance received
Non-Annex I Parties are currently encouraged to report
information on nancial support received in their National
Communications and Biennial Update Reports (UNFCCC,
2011b, Decision 2/CP.17). The rst Biennial Update
Reports were to be submitted by December 2014. The sub-
sequent BURs should be submitted every two years, either
as a summary of parts of the National Communication in
the year when the National Communication is submitted
or as a stand-alone update report. However, exibility is
given to least developed country Parties (LDCs) and
small island developing States (SIDS), which may submit
such reports at their discretion.
Only 37 non-Annex I Parties (out of 154 non-Annex I
Parties) had submitted their rst BURs as at 30 July 2017. It
is thus currently impossible to present a comprehensive
picture of the landscape of climate nance received. In
addition, there is no common format (similar to the CTF)
for reporting information on nancial support received,
nor is there a common methodology to assess the nancial
support received. For example, the time periods over which
the nance is reported as received vary widely (UNFCCC
SCF, 2016). What is more, the UNFCCC guidelines do
not require information on underlying assumptions, de-
nitions and methodologies used in generating the infor-
mation reported on climate nance received (UNFCCC
SCF, 2016, p. 31). The result of this lack of specic gui-
dance is that Parties decide what to report on an individual
basis, as can be observed in their rst Biennial Update
Reports (see Table 2).
As acknowledged by the UNFCCC Standing Commit-
tee on Finance (UNFCCC SCF, 2016, p. 31), it is not poss-
ible to aggregate the total support received by developing
countries as a result of the variations in reporting. Complete
and transparent accounting and reporting of climate nance
is not only a trust issue between developed and developing
countries in the negotiations; it also is crucial because it can
markedly improve planning and effectiveness of efforts to
help developing countries reduce their fast-growing green-
house gas emissions and to help the worlds most vulner-
able adapt to the climate impacts.
4. Climate nance accounting and reporting: what
is next?
Billions of dollars are being granted and lent every year to
help developing countries mitigate their greenhouse gas
emissions, cope with increasing climate impacts and
build the trust necessary to allow negotiations to continue.
The picture depicted in this paper is stark: A quarter of a
century into climate change negotiations, we still lack an
adequate system for dening, categorizing and tracking
international climate change nance. The UNFCCC report-
ing guidelines leave considerable discretion for a range of
accounting approaches, which greatly impedes any com-
parisons between contributing countriesprovision of
climate nance and assessments of performance in mobiliz-
ing private climate nance overtime. It is currently imposs-
ible to meaningfully identify any potential geographical or
sectorial gaps left out in developing countries by the nan-
cial assistance of the international community.
A notable development took place in December 2015
during Paris COP 21: The Decision text calls for the elab-
oration under the UNFCCC of modalities for the account-
ing of nancial resources provided and mobilized through
public interventions(UNFCCC, 2015, para. 57). Such
modalities are supposed to be consideredin December
2018 and could lead to the adoption of a recommendation
by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting
of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA) (UNFCCC,
2015, para. 57). This could potentially represent great pro-
gress in redressing the current inadequate accounting fra-
mework for climate nance provided and mobilized.
However, the political and technical complexities that lie
ahead of negotiators in the elaboration of those accounting
modalities cannot be overstated.
11
In addition, the account-
ing modalities currently being negotiated will only apply to
the nancial support provided and mobilized, not to the
nancial support received. For a comprehensive transpar-
ency framework to emerge, it will be necessary to also
develop accounting modalities for nancial support
received.
The Paris Agreementsenhanced transparency frame-
workbrought about other crucial developments regarding
climate nance accounting and reporting (see Table 3; for a
complete review, see van Asselt et al., 2017). For example,
non-Annex I Parties that provide nancial support to devel-
oping countries in the context of climate actions should
now report information on such support on a biennial
basis (UNFCCC, 2015, Article 13.9; Decision 1/CP.21,
para. 90). Whether emerging donorssuch as China or
the United Arab Emirates will do so remains uncertain,
although some non-Annex I Parties may consider this as
an opportunity to increase their visibility on the inter-
national stage (van Asselt et al., 2017).
In addition, the Paris Agreement put in place several
processes that have the potential to improve the transpar-
ency and completeness of the information submitted by
contributing countries, which would likely improve trust
between Parties in the climate negotiations. Indeed, the
information submitted by developed country Parties and
other Parties that provide nancial support shall
undergo a technical expert review (UNFCCC, 2015,
Article 13.11). Each of these Parties shall also participate
in a multilateral consideration of progress with respect to
efforts on nancial support provided (UNFCCC, 2015,
Article 13.11). In addition, Article 13.6 of the Paris
Agreement (UNFCCC, 2015) states that the purpose of
the framework for transparency of support is to provide
Climate and Development 105
Table 2. Reporting approaches used by some non-Annex I parties for nancial support received.
Reported in tabular format Allocation channels Sectors Financial instruments Other
Per
project
or
activity
Per
donor
Per
thematic
area
a
Only
headline
gures
Top
donors Bilateral Multilateral
Multilateral
nancial
institutions
Multilateral
climate
change
funds
Specialized
United
Nations
bodies GEF
Private
foundations
Private
sector Thematic
a
Economic
b
Grant
Concessional
loan Loan
National
budget
Result-
based
payment Leasing
ODA/
non-
ODA
Status
of
nance
c
Domestic
nance
ows
Co-
nancing
Argentina ✓✓ ✓
Armenia ✓✓
Brazil ✓✓✓ ✓
Chile ✓✓✓ ✓
Colombia ✓✓✓ ✓
Ghana ✓✓✓ ✓
Indonesia ✓✓ ✓ ✓
Lebanon ✓✓
Malaysia ✓✓
Mauritania ✓✓
Mexico ✓✓✓ ✓
Montenegro ✓✓ ✓ ✓
Morocco ✓✓✓ ✓
Paraguay ✓✓✓ ✓
Peru ✓✓ ✓ ✓
Moldova (R. of) ✓✓
South Africa ✓✓✓ ✓
Thailand ✓✓ ✓
Tunisia ✓✓ ✓
Viet Nam ✓ ✓
Source: Data extracted from UNFCCC SCF (2016, pp. 3233; pp. 103105).
a
For example, mitigation and adaptation.
b
For example, energy, transport and agriculture.
c
Received or approved. Parties are shown in alphabetical order. The 20 non-Annex I Parties included in this table are those that had submitted their BURs as at 30 June 2016 and that provided summary
information on nancial support received during a certain period of time. In total, 32 non-Annex I Parties had submitted their BURs by 30 June 2016. Twelve of these 32 non-Annex I Parties do not appear in this
table because they indicated nancial support received only for some projects, activities, sectors or donors, or did not include quantitative nancial information at all in their BURs.
106 R. Weikmans and J.T. Roberts
clarity on support provided and received by relevant indi-
vidual Parties in the context of climate change actions,
and, to the extent possible, to provide a full overview
of aggregate nancial support provided, to inform the
global stocktake.
12
Another key change under the Paris Agreement is that
developing country Parties should now provide infor-
mation on nancial support received on a biennial basis
except for LDCs and SIDS, which may submit this
information at their discretion (UNFCCC, 2015, Article
13.10; Decision 1/CP.21, para. 90). The provision that
LDCs and SIDS will be able to report nancial support
received at their discretionis necessary to protect those
countries from heavy reporting duties. However, discre-
tionary reporting might be a double-edged sword if it
impedes the emergence of a clear picture of the inter-
national climate nance landscape for many of the
worlds most vulnerable nations. Robust and frequent
Table 3. Selected key differences between the pre-Paris approach to transparency of nancial support and the enhanced transparency
framework agreed in Paris.
Issues Pre-Paris approach
Enhanced transparency framework agreed in
Paris
Information on nancial support
provided to developing
countries
Developed country Parties were required to
provide information on nancial support
provided on a biennial basis (in their National
Communications and Biennial Reports).
No common accounting methodologies for
nancial support provided.
Developed country Parties shall continue to
provide information on nancial support
provided on a biennial basis (see UNFCCC,
2015, Article 13.9; Decision 1/CP.21, para.
90).
Non-Annex I Parties that provide nancial
support to developing countries in the
context of climate actions should now report
information on such support on a biennial
basis (see UNFCCC, 2015, Article 13.9;
Decision 1/CP.21, para. 90).
Modalities for the accounting of nancial
resources provided are to be developed (see
UNFCCC, 2015, Decision 1/CP.21,
paragraph 57).
Information on nancial support
mobilized through public
interventions
Developed country Parties were required to
provide information on nancial support
mobilized in their Biennial Reports.
No common accounting methodologies for
nancial support mobilized.
Modalities for the accounting of nancial
resources mobilized through public
interventions are to be developed (see
UNFCCC, 2015, Decision 1/CP.21,
paragraph 57).
Information on nancial support
received
Developing country Parties were encouraged to
report this information in their National
Communications and Biennial Update Reports.
Developing country Parties should provide
information on nancial support received on
a biennial basis except for LDCs and SIDS,
which may submit this information at their
discretion (UNFCCC, 2015, Article 13.10;
Decision 1/CP.21, para. 90).
Technical expert review on the
information submitted on
nancial support provided
Information on support provided that developed
country Parties reported in their National
Communications and Biennial Reports was
subject to technical expert review.
The information submitted by developed
country Parties and other Parties that provide
nancial support shall undergo a technical
expert review (UNFCCC, 2015, Article
13.11).
Multilateral consideration of
progress with respect to efforts
on nancial support provided
No multilateral consideration of progress. Developed country Parties and other Parties
that provide nancial support shall
participate in a multilateral consideration of
progress with respect to efforts on nancial
support provided (UNFCCC, 2015, Article
13.11).
Global stocktake No global stocktake.
The UNFCCC Standing Committee on Finance
produced two editions of its Biennial
Assessment and Overview of Climate Finance
Flows(UNFCCC, 2014,2016).
The purpose of the framework for transparency
of support is to provide clarity on support
provided and received by relevant individual
Parties in the context of climate change, and,
to the extent possible, to provide a full
overview of aggregate nancial support
provided, to inform the global stocktake (see
UNFCCC, 2015, Article 13.6).
Source: Modied from van Asselt et al. (2017, pp. 2829).
Climate and Development 107
reporting by LDCs and SIDS could help corroborate the
information from Parties providing support. Signicant
support will probably have to be given to LDCs and
SIDS to help them report information on nancial
support received on a biennial basis, as is expected from
other developing countries.
Overall, despite some of the gaps highlighted above,
many elements contained in the Paris Agreement and
Decision text could lead to marked improvements in the
way climate nance is accounted and reported. Would
these potential improvements eventually lead to enhanced
trust between Parties in international negotiations; to
increased levels of climate nance provided and mobilized;
to fairer burden sharing between contributing countries;
and to a more equitable and/or efcient allocation of
climate nance? Researchers are just starting to explore
this crucial question (for a relatively optimistic view, see
e.g. Pickering, Jotzo, & Wood, 2015; for a more cautious
opinion, see e.g. Gupta & van Asselt, 2017).
Notes
1. In this paper, we consider developed countries to be
UNFCCC Annex II Parties. Under the UNFCCC, Annex
II Parties have longstanding obligations in terms of provid-
ing nancial resources to enable developing countries (con-
sidered here as UNFCCC non-Annex I Parties) to undertake
emissions reduction activities and to help them adapt to
adverse effects of climate change. Annex II Parties are
among others also required by the UNFCCC to provide
information on those nancial resources provided to and
mobilized in developing countries.
2. There is no internationally agreed denition of the terms
climate nance. In this paper, we understand inter-
national climate nanceas the nancial ows provided
and mobilized by developed countries that stem from their
obligations under the UNFCCC to help developing
countries mitigate their greenhouse gas emissions and
adapt to the adverse effects of climate change.
3. The nance ministers of 18 developed countries came
forward on 6 September 2015 with a statement that they
need to provide increased transparencyon their progress
towards the US$ 100 billion goal (100 billion Goal. Austra-
lia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany,
Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand,
Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Joint Statement,
2015). In their statement, those countries admit that the
current data is inadequate and sought to set a common
understanding of mobilized climate nance. The statement
raised however the question of why recipient nations were
not formally included in this crucial denitional work
(Weikmans & Roberts, 2015).
4. Under the Paris Agreement (UNFCCC, 2015, Article 13.9)
non-Annex I Parties that provide nancial support to other
developing countries are also expected to report information
on such support on a biennial basis. We do not review
accounting and reporting practices of non-Annex I Parties
in this paper because so far there has been very limited
voluntary reporting of information by developing country
Parties that provide nancial resources to other developing
countries.
5. As detailed in Tables 7(a) and 7(b) in Decision 19/CP.18
(UNFCCC, 2012b), Annex II Parties are among others
required to indicate in these common tabular format spread-
sheets the total amount, status, funding source, nancial
instrument and amount of support provided through bilat-
eral, regional and multilateral channels, to specic countries
for mitigation and adaptation. In addition, Annex II Parties
have to report, to the extent that is possible, on private nan-
cial ows leveraged by bilateral climate nance towards
mitigation and adaptation activities in non-Annex I
Parties, and should also report on policies and measures
that promote the scaling up of private investment in mitiga-
tion and adaptation activities in developing country Parties.
6. The generic term projectused in this paper also refers to
other types of aid modalities (e.g. sector budget support,
technical assistance).
7. See http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=
RIOMARKERS.
8. For a summary of the information on new and additional
denitions used by developed countries in their rst Bien-
nial Reports, see UNFCCC SCF (2014, pp. 5758).
9. In OECD DAC statistical reporting systems, commitments,
even if multi-year, are recorded in whole in the year they are
signed. By contrast, disbursements denote actual payments
in each year.
10. See www.oecd.org/env/researchcollaborative.
11. For an overview of the current status (May 2017) of the
negotiations on the development of these accounting modal-
ities, see UNFCCC (2017b, para. 127131). Interested
readers will also nd many recommendations regarding
the improvement of current accounting modalities in the
last report of the UNFCCC Standing Committee on
Finance (UNFCCC SCF, 2016).
12. The global stocktake refers to a moment every ve years
when all Parties will take stock of the implementation of
the Paris Agreement to assess the collective progress
towards achieving its purpose and its long-term goals (see
UNFCCC, 2015, Article 14).
Disclosure statement
No potential conict of interest was reported by the authors.
ORCID
Romain Weikmans http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1523-
2993
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Climate and Development 111
... Various methods are used to track adaptation finance, which makes comparisons between adaptation finance figures challenging (UNFCCC SCF, 2018;Weikmans and Roberts, 2019). For example, multi-lateral development banks use a different methodology than countries do under the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) (Box 17.4; MDBs, 2019). ...
... Another aspect is whether tracking distinguishes between financial instruments, such as grants or loans. Different accounting rules can lead to large differences in reported amounts of adaptation finance and to a lack of comparability between providers (Weikmans and Roberts, 2019). Studies identified an over-reporting (i.e., counting non-adaptation-related finance) by a factor of two to three, which suggests the need for a more consistent and transparent accounting system CARE, 2021). ...
... The first data on this 'adaptation marker' became available in 2012 for the financial flows of 2010. It forms the basis for developed countries' reporting to the UNFCCC Secretariat on their financial commitments towards developing countries (Weikmans and Roberts, 2019). ...
Chapter
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Chapter 17 assesses the options, processes, and enabling conditions for climate risk management, a key component of climate resilient development. This chapter focuses on the ‘how’ of climate risk management and adaptation. It covers: the adaptation and risk management options that are available; the governance and applicability of options in different contexts; residual risk and Loss and Damage; the methods and tools that can be drawn on to support climate risk management planning and implementation; enabling conditions and drivers for adaptation; the role of monitoring and evaluation for integrated risk management and tracking progress, success and the risk of maladaptation; and finally, integration of risk management across sectors, jurisdictions, and time horizons, under dynamic conditions of environmental and societal change.
... A principal tag requires a project to directly and explicitly target mitigation or adaptation objectives; for a significant tag, a project can have other main objectives with climate co-benefits 4 (see Supplementary Discussion 1 for the Rio marker definitions). However, ICF estimates from the Rio markers are heavily debated because they are self-reported by contributing countries, verification relies on the contributors' own checks and political pressure to increase ICF may lead to inconsistencies [5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12] . ...
... Some countries tag environmental projects (for example, biodiversity or sustainable land use) with a principal marker, while others use significant markers or do not tag such projects at all 9 . In general, we find evidence for both over-and under-reporting, partly by the same contributors (Supplementary Discussion 2), which supports criticism of reporting quality [5][6][7][8][9][10][11] . Our findings strengthen previous studies 9, 10,13 arguing that contributors use the Rio markers inconsistently and, in some cases, inaccurately. ...
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International climate finance is key to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. Here we develop a machine learning classifier to identify international climate finance from 2.7 million official development assistance projects between 2000 and 2019, resulting in a consistent and replicable inventory of 82,023 bilateral climate finance projects (US$80 billion). Our findings reinforce concerns that the actual numbers may be much lower than current estimates made with Rio markers. A reliable and consistent inventory is important for the international community to track and promote the progress of climate finance. A machine learning classifier reveals that the current framework may overestimate the actual number of bilateral climate finance projects.
... The UNFCCC's Standing Committee on Finance has also directed the developed countries to clarify how they defined "climate-specific" (UNFCCC 2016). Even among the members of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and the European Union (EU), there is no agreement on what constitutes climate finance (Weikmans et al. 2019). ...
... It was found that the coefficients applied to the projects, which classified as "significant" (Rio Marker 1), varied from 30 to 100%, depending on the country, and that no uniform statistics were made available. According to Weikmans and Timmons Roberts (2019), six of the 24 countries applied a coefficient of 100% for the projects that were marked as significant. The United Kingdom and the United States have responded that they report to the UNFCCC in a different way than the way Rio marker does (Table 2.1). ...
Chapter
It is estimated that developing countries will need at least USD 100 billion annually for climate change adaptation by 2030. Developed countries are required to provide new and additional funds for the adaptation of developing countries and report the amount. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reports that the member countries have provided a total of USD 78.9 billion to the developing countries in 2018 for public and private financing, approaching the target set for 2020. However, there is no widely adopted definition of climate financing or no scientific consensus regarding the definition of adaptation. Developed countries have come to adopt these definitions arbitrarily. Researchers and NGOs claim that the OECD report is an overestimate and that the actual provision made by member countries was much smaller than what the developing countries actually needed. Nevertheless, multilateral development banks and internationally agreed funds such as the Global Environment Facility, Adaptation Fund, and Green Climate Fund have been providing support to facilitate the adaptation of developing countries. The private sector is also interested in investment in infrastructure, which contributes toward the enhancement of the resilience of developing countries.KeywordsFinancial flowsTargets for ODARio MarkerGlobal environment facilityResilience bonds
... Today, climate finance is a complex set of mechanisms intended to facilitate the transfer of funds between states for mitigation and adaptation, among other climate responses (Kalaidjian & Robinson, 2022). Climate finance is increasingly variegated, with novel and more fragmented forms of finance emerging (CPI, 2021;Roberts et al., 2021;Weikmans & Roberts, 2019). Given this complexity, assessing the relationships between climate finance and climate justice is not a straightforward task. ...
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The aim of this chapter is to analyze how the principle of hope in Ernst Bloch’s theoretical proposal turns out to be a useful philosophical reference when designing mitigation and adaptation proposals in the face of the climate change crisis. The method followed in this chapter is based on analogical hermeneutics (Beuchot, Tratado de hermenéutica analógica. Editorial Ítaca, FFyL, UNAM, México City, 1997) in order to study an interpretation of a philosophical proposal about the problem of climate change. The hypothesis put forward is that proposals for mitigation and adaptation that seek to respond to the climate change crisis must be centered on the ontology of the not-yet-being; it is a reality in the process of being, which anticipates the full reality. The chapter proposes a dialectic discourse between adaptation mitigation strategies and the problem of climate change, as a moving process that builds new realities through human intervention; therefore, the horizon marks the way, recovering the value of the Principle of Hope and Utopia for orienting humanity.
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