Notes and methodology

This page presents important notes for those using the data and visualisation tools available on Climate Funds Update.


All figures are in USD Million.

CFU data is cumulative since 2003, the first year in which one of the dedicated climate funds that we monitor approved finance for a project.    

The exchange rate is based on the annual average rate as listed on Oanda. When information on the specific exchange rate used is available, this rate is used instead, and specified in the fund description. The original currency is included in the underlying data.

CFU reports gross flows of climate finance rather than net figures due to a lack of publicly available information on the exact terms on which finance is being made available.

We record the following details for each fund:
  • All developments in fund governance
  • The relationship of the fund with Official Development Assistance (ODA). ODA is defined by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)as: “flows of official financing administered with the promotion of the economic development and welfare of developing countries as the main objective, and which are concessional in character with a grant element of at least 25 percent (using a fixed 10 percent rate of discount). By convention, ODA flows comprise contributions of donor government agencies, at all levels, to developing countries (“bilateral ODA”) and to multilateral institutions. ODA receipts comprise disbursements by bilateral donors and multilateral institutions. Lending by export credit agencies—with the pure purpose of export promotion—is excluded.”

Our fund coverage

CFU tracks all multilaterally governed funds focused on climate change, many of which have links to the UNFCCC process. We also provide information on some major bilateral initiatives, but are no longer able to maintain current data on their levels of funding or programming. CFU has a select coverage of a number of national climate change funds that recipient countries have established, which are largely selected on the basis of our on-going country work.

Status of finance

Pledges: represent verbal or signed commitments from donors to provide financial support for a particular fund. All pledges are cumulative.

Deposits: represent the funds that have been transferred from the donor into the account(s) of the fund. Also known as committed funds. All deposits are cumulative.

Approved: represents funds that have been officially approved and earmarked to a specific project or programme. All approvals on figures are cumulative.

Disbursed: represents those funds that have been spent, either through administrative means or directly to an implementation programme or project, with proof of spend. All disbursements on figures are cumulative.

Note that the apparent progression of finance through each finance status is affected by the availability of information from funds and initiatives. Disbursals that appear as zero or low as compared to approvals could result from slow contributor disbursal or slow recipient uptake, but may also reflect a paucity of information on the status of finance after approval. This is true for some of the bilateral initiatives tracked by CFU.

Types of finance

Grant finance – transfers with no repayment required from recipients

Technical assistance – assistance in carrying out policy studies, providing advice, supporting project preparation and implementation, and assisting in technology transfer, normally delivered as a cost-free (grant) service.

Concessional loans – loans provided on terms significantly more generous than market rates. The OECD has a definition of concessionality based on the interest rate charged; maturity; and the grace period (interval of time before the first repayment is due) of a loan. Under the OECD, loans are deemed eligible as Official Development Assistance if they have a grant element of at least 25%; however, there is a spectrum of concessionality from “hard” (near-market) loans to soft. (See the OECD DAC’s Glossary of Terms for more information at

Credit finance – concessional loans offered at a zero interest rate.

Non-concessional loans – loans offered near or at market rates.

Equity – finance available on the basis of gaining a share in the recieving entity with the right to receive a portion of the profits and value gain of the business. .

Guarantees – an undertaking by a guarantor to pay any outstanding amounts owed by the Beneficiary to the Beneficiary or directly to its creditor(s). Guarantees are normally given through a non-cancelable indemnity bond that guarantees the timely payment of interest and repayment of principal to the Creditors (holders of the debt security). The guarantor will only provide finance if the Beneficiary (issuer of the debt security) fails to do so.

Types of expenditure

Overhead refers to expenditures from the Fund that are not directed to projects (such as administration fees)

Income refers to funding received other than donor contributions.

Projects and Programmes are the initiatives that receive finance from the fund. These may include finance for preparatory activities to develop project and programmes.

We record the following details for all projects (where information is available):

  • Title of the project
  • Fund that implements the project
  • Recipient Country/Region
  • Project Budget
  • Start Date
  • Focus (Adaptation, Mitigation-general, Mitigation-REDD)
  • Grant or Loan

Recipients of finance

Country Income level is based on standard World Bank classifications based on 2010 GNI per capita:
  • Low-Income: USD 1,005 or less
  • Lower Middle Income: USD 1,006 to USD 3,975
  • Upper-Middle-Income: USD 3,976 to USD 12,275
  • High Income: USD 12,276 or more

Focus of funding

Adaptation: Adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities. Various types of adaptation can be distinguished, including anticipatory and reactive adaptation, private and public adaptation, and autonomous and planned adaptation (IPCC, 2007)

Mitigation: Technological change and substitution that reduce resource inputs and emissions per unit of output. Although several social, economic and technological policies would produce an emission reduction, with respect to climate change, mitigation means implementing policies to reduce GHG emissions and enhance sinks. (IPCC, 2007)

REDD+: countries’ efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and foster conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (FAO and UNFCCC, 2012).

Sources and information collection processes

The main sources of information and the process for information collection for each fund are:

  • Information collection from:
    • The fund website
    • Official reporting to international organisations from funds and by contributor organisations
    • Documents such as press releases, key decisions taken at conferences or meetings, information from civil society organizations
  • Correspondence with fund managers to confirm information collected plus additional details or clarifications.