Increasing the transparency of climate-related development finance flows: publishing detail on over 7,000 projects in 2013

Stephanie Ockenden, OECD Development Cooperation Directorate

Climate change and development are intrinsically linked, and external development finance flows have a critical role to play in supporting this transition.  Achieving an efficient and effective allocation of this finance will be critical to support our climate change goals and to ensure the most vulnerable are reached.

Improved statistics on climate-related development finance can support this, through providing information to facilitate greater co-ordination and allocation of finance.  Better data also has a significant role to play given the current “climate politics”.  Climate finance will be one of the critical elements contributing to a new global agreement to tackle climate change.  Whilst climate-related development finance flows are much broader than the UNFCCC USD 100 billion goal, many parties draw in part on these data to meet their commitments.  Robust statistics promote consistency, comparability and transparency, and this in turn will support parties in their monitoring and reporting to the convention to deliver greater accountability and help build trust.

Taking one giant step towards more robust statistics, the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC), in collaboration with the MDBs and other international organisations, presents for the first time an integrated picture of bilateral and multilateral external development finance flows targeting climate change objectives in 2013.

In doing so, a significant boost to transparency is achieved by making available on-line a wealth of data, including information on over 7,000 development finance activities, contributing to over USD 37 billion of climate-related development finance in 2013.

Going forward the OECD DAC is working in collaboration with other partners to further improve the quality, coverage, communication and use of these environmental development data.

We invite you to access detailed project-level information and interact with our new 2013 climate-related development finance statistics!

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Climate Finance Fundamentals 2014

Sam Barnard, ODI

The UNFCCC COP20 kicked off this week in Peru. Day by day more negotiators and observers are arriving at ‘el Pentagonito’, the Peruvian army headquarters in Lima where this year’s conference is being held, in the hope of making progress towards the global climate agreement billed to be signed in Paris in November of next year.

Finance is high on the agenda. Developed country governments have agreed to provide resources to support the efforts of developing countries to adopt low-carbon development trajectories and build resilience to climate impacts that are already starting to incur real economic and social costs.

Against this backdrop, ODI and the Heinrich Böll Foundation have released the 2014 edition of the Climate Finance Fundamentals: a series of concise briefs detailing the essentials on the key issues under discussion around climate finance. These include the progress being made towards getting the new Green Climate Fund up and running, trends in finance for mitigation, adaptation and REDD+, as well as regional briefs on how climate finance is flowing to assist countries in different parts of the world to tackle the specific challenges they face. We provide an overview of the architecture for climate finance delivery that has evolved over the past ten years, as well as the crucial need to incorporate gender considerations into climate fund interventions.

So what are the headline stories?

The Green Climate Fund has made big steps this year to becoming fully operational. The official pledging meeting in Berlin last month brought pledges up to $9.3 billion. Additional pledges have also been announced this week, making the GCF the largest multilateral fund in the world. It will now have to demonstrate its ability to use this money effectively by financing a portfolio of impactful projects.

The amounts of finance approved by climate funds for both mitigation and adaptation projects have risen substantially, indicating that the project development cycles of existing funds, and particularly the Climate Investment Funds under the World Bank, are starting to pick up steam. Dedicated adaptation funds and mitigation funds have now approved over $3 billion and $6.6 billion, respectively. Similarly, approvals by funds focusing on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) grew by 65% in the last 12 months to nearly $1.1 billion.

Regional highlights

The largest sums of finance have been approved for projects in Asia and Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean. In both of these regions this funding is heavily skewed towards supporting mitigation, primarily through renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Nevertheless, funding for adaptation is growing steadily. Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region for which spending by climate funds on adaptation ($1.03 billion) exceeds that on mitigation ($834 million). In contrast to spending on mitigation, this adaptation finance is highly disperse, with the majority flowing through the Least Developed Countries Fund to support 126 projects in the region.

Globally, some particularly vulnerable countries such as Nepal, have received significant resources from dedicated climate funds to increase their resilience, but it will be crucial to ensure that the most vulnerable countries, including the small island developing states (SIDS) are not left behind.

The biggest single approval in the last year was the $238 million concessional loan from the Clean Technology Fund for the Noor II and III Concentrated Solar Power project in Morocco, which is the latest project to be approved under a concerted large-scale solar power investment programme in the Middle East and North Africa.

The Climate Finance Fundamentals draw on data compiled at Climate Funds Update, the leading source of information on the money flowing to and from dedicated climate funds. They can be downloaded in English, Spanish and French at

Climate finance highlights since July 2013

Climate Funds Update data is now current as of October 2013.[1] This brief note highlights new developments including pledges, approvals, and disbursements.

New Climate Finance pledges July 2013 – November 2013:

Pledges and deposits have been fairly static. The US has made the largest new deposits of USD 176 million to the Clean Technology Fund (CTF). The UK has also increased its deposit to the CTF by USD 7 million since June 2013, but no other significant changes have been registered for other countries.

New approvals and disbursements July 2013 – November 2013:

Funds are getting down to work, and USD 1.2 billion was approved for new projects since July,   although only about USD 195 million was disbursed.

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  • Mitigation funds have been most active, in particular the CTF with USD 835 million of new funding approved, primarily targeting India through three concessional loans financing a large-scale solar park in Rajasthan, a national energy efficiency programme, and hydropower development in Himachal Pradesh
  • The GEF5, under the UNFCCC, also approved a considerable amount of funding (USD 125 million) for 41 new projects in 10 different countries. Mexico received the largest new approval with a USD 17 million grant for the Sustainable Energy Technology Development project.
  • The Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR) approved additional US$ 200 million for adaptation finance for 8 full size projects and 6 project preparation grants.  The largest project is the US$ 45 million for Strengthening the Resilience to climate change in the Rio Grande Basin and National capacity for Managing Climate change in Bolivia;
  • Finally, about USD 48 million of new REDD+ finance has been approved by the Amazon Fund and the Congo Basin Forest Fund (CBFF).


For an overview of key trends in dedicated climate finance in 2013, please take a look at the ODI HBF report 10 Things to Know About Climate Finance in 2013. CFU users may also be interested in our review of lessons from the Fast Start Finance period for long term climate finance, and our studies of the effectiveness of multilateral climate funds.

[1] Data was confirmed by fund managers in September and October 2013

New update – June 2013

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 commitment 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:

  • The Amazon Fund increased the disbursements for five projects by USD 6.65 million.
  • The Forest Investment Programme (FIP) approved three full projects: One new project in Mexico, for supporting forest related micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Ejidos (USD 2.88 million); and two new Project Preparation Grants (PPGs) in Ghana and Indonesia for integrating a landscape approach in reducing pressure on natural forests, and engaging local communities, and for community focused management and investment to address deforestation and degradation, and natural resources management, respectively.
  • The Scaling-Up Renewable Energy Program for Low Income Countries (SREP) approved new preparation grants for investment plans in Armenia and the Solomon Islands, which are within the list of ‘reserved countries’ for pilots.  While the SREP will support the development of the plans, finance for implementation will need to be raised.
  • The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility approved three new readiness grants in Vietnam, Ethiopia, and Costa Rica for a total amount of USD 11 million.
  • All funding through the MDG Achievement Fund Climate Change window has now been disbursed.

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.

New update – March 2013

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.

New update – September 2012

The Climate Funds Update data is now current as of September 2012. Highlights from this update include:

$160 million has been pledged and deposited to the Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA), since September 2011, an increase of nearly 70%. This increase comes mainly from EC budget and from the EC Fast Start Finance. The GCCA is a European Commission-led initiative that provides technical and financial support to help developing countries integrate climate change into development.

CFU data displays a substantial increase in adaptation finance over the last three months.

The Least Developed Country Fund (LCDF) has approved 23 new projects. The new projects support adaptation to climate change in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Pacific. $33 million has been allocated to eight early warning system projects across Sub-Saharan Africa that will help rural communities plan for droughts and floods.

The Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR) has approved 14 new adaptation projects of approximately $90 million. The largest project ($30 million), funded mainly through concessional loan, is the Coastal Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project in Bangladesh, to be implemented through the Asian Development Bank.

Please contact the Climate Funds Update team with any questions or for further information.

Following the Money: An Update on The Status of Climate Finance

Following the first meeting of the board of the new global Green Climate Fund, and as UNFCCC parties meet in Bangkok to take stock of progress in implementing the Durban Platform, Climate Funds Update reflects on major developments in climate finance over the last six months.

Nearly $1 billion has been pledged to dedicated climate funds

The UK, United States, Canada, Sweden and Switzerland have pledged an additional $937 million since January 2012 to the 22 climate finance initiatives that we monitor on Climate Funds Update. In addition, $911 million has been deposited to these funds.  Approximately $750 million of this funding has been pledged to the Climate Investment Funds – primarily the Clean Technology Fund ($414 million) and the Pilot Programme on Climate Resilience ($226 million). Contributing countries have collectively deposited $911 million across the 22 climate finance initiatives that we monitor on Climate Funds Update.

Some new actors are engaging

The Brazilian oil company Petrobas contributed $4.49 million to the Amazon Fund, as part of the company’s efforts to reduce its emission intensity by 15 percent by 2015. Similarly  the climate investor CDC Climat and global oil company BP each deposited $5 million to the Carbon Fund of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility.

Nearly $ 1 billion in finance for new projects has been approved

This suggests an increase in the pace at which funds have been allocating finance; notably the Climate Investment Funds, the Global Environment Facility, the Special Climate Change Fund and the Congo Basin Forest Fund have been allocating finance. Funding has largely been directed to projects in Asia and the Pacific and Sub-Saharan Africa. However disbursement continues to be slow, and our data suggests that only $225 million more has been disbursed over the past 6 months. The Adaptation Fund, however, has now disbursed $29 million since the beginning of the year, which is almost double the finance that it disbursed until last year.

Making our data more accessible

We have introduced a new set of tools to help users interrogate and analyse our data to understand key trends and issues in climate finance.   Users can consider the various funds that provide finance, which regions and countries they are supporting, and what types of projects are funded.

We have also enhanced our data quality by distinguishing between the administrative costs that funds incur and the finance that they actually direct to developing countries. Similarly, we have singled out revenues and overheads for funds, such as the revenues from the sale of Certified Emission Reductions in the case of the Adaptation Fund, from government contributions to a fund.

We hope that you will find the new functions of the website useful, and would welcome your feedback and ideas as we continue to invest in Climate Funds Update as a leading source of independent information on climate finance.