By David Ciplet
The need for transparency in climate finance is plain: unless developing countries know how much money to expect, when and for what, they cannot effectively plan their efforts to address and respond to climate change. But what has been the track record of wealthy countries on this crucial issue?
A new scorecard, released by the organization the International Institute for Environment and Development, reveals that we have a long way to go in making climate finance transparent. Two of the authors, David Ciplet and Timmons Roberts, are from Brown University’s Climate and Development Lab. The scorecard evaluates the extent to which these countries meet a set of 25 common-sense transparency criteria in their climate finance reports to the UN. The scorecard can be found at: http://pubs.iied.org/pdfs/17100IIED.pdf
Even the highest-scoring countries — Norway and Japan — barely reached a 50 per cent score across the criteria evaluated. A look at how funds are being allocated reveals a murky and complicated underside to the commitments made two years ago in Copenhagen. There are grave concerns that funds previously promised or expected for basic needs such as health and education are being diverted for climate projects.
“Transparency is as important for taxpayers in the North as it is for climate-vulnerable countries in the South,” says Dr Saleemul Huq, senior fellow in the climate change group at IIED. “Transparent reporting is essential to enable recipient countries to plan their responses to climate change and for civil society to hold governments to account on their promises.”
In the lead up to the global climate change negotiations in Durban, the authors call for an international registry of funds that provides comprehensive, detailed, consistent and transparent accounting and reporting measures at the project level. A transparent system, they argue, is essential to build much-needed trust and to jointly achieve the critical global goal to reduce emissions and protect those people most vulnerable to climate change.
Post by David Ciplet, member of Brown’s Climate and Development Lab.