Climate finance needs more transparency

Oxfam welcomed the launch of a new website by the Dutch Minister of the Environment today (faststartfinance.org) which aims to collect and present details about climate finance pledges from developed countries.

"With this initiative, the Dutch Government takes a much needed step towards increasing transparency of climate finance. While finance pledges were made in Copenhagen, it is not yet possible to fully assess whether fast start money is really new, instead of recycled aid promises, whether it has actually been spent and through which channels," said Oxfam's policy advisor Romain Benicchio.

One of the main outcomes of the climate summit in Copenhagen was the collective pledge by developed countries to provide $30 billion by 2012 of new funding to help developing countries to adapt to climate change and reduce their emissions. However, so far there has been little detail about these contributions.

Oxfam argues that climate finance pledges must be held to strong principles of transparency and clear accounting rules. In particular, developed countries should clarify whether their contributions are new and additional to long-standing targets to increase official development assistance (ODA), and whether they are in the form of grants or loans. Oxfam says that climate finance for adaptation must only be provided as grants to ensure the poorest countries are not saddled with new debt for coping with a problem they did least to cause.

The Dutch initiative is a welcome first step, though voluntary measures which allow rich countries to decide on what details to make public will never provide the assurances needed that they are keeping their promises. Oxfam calls for the UNFCCC to be tasked with compiling and analyzing these financial contributions by the next COP in Cancun according to fair, common standards.

"Only transparent and exhaustive reporting on climate finance according to common rules under the UN will give confidence that the limited promises of Copenhagen have not been forgotten and that developed countries are serious about their commitment to fight climate change" added Romain Benicchio.

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Download the report: Climate Finance Post-Copenhagen: The $100 billion questions

Watch the video: Post-Copenhagen: What next for Oxfam's Climate Change Campaign

Notes to editors

Contact information

For more information and interviews with Oxfam's climate change experts contact:

Romain Benicchio, Policy Advisor (in Geneva), +41 79 79 79 990, romain.benicchio@oxfaminternational.org