A new report is sending a message to world leaders attending the climate change conference in Doha, Qatar: Change the way you deliver climate finance. Photo by: Ainhoa Gomà / Oxfam / CC BY-NC-ND

A new report is sending a message to world leaders attending the climate change conference in Doha, Qatar: Change the way you deliver climate finance.

In 2009, developed countries agreed to provide “new and additional” climate financing to developing countries by 2012. But a report from anti-poverty group Oxfam notes that only 33 percent of the $30 billion donors pledged in Copenhagen was new. Japan, for instance, announced $11 billion of its $15 billion commitment prior to COP15.

Only 24 percent of the funding was in addition to countries’ official development assistance, too. Of the $9.3 billion the European Union committed in 2009, only 17 percent can be counted as in addition to its ODA, according to the report.

The report furthers notes that less than half of the funds were provided as grants. In addition, while the Copenhagen Accord called for countries to provide a “balanced allocation between mitigation and adaptation,” only 21 percent was channeled to climate adaptation efforts.

A separate report by the International Institute for Environment and Development, an independent policy research think thank based in London, has nearly similar findings.

The conference in Doha, which kicks off Nov. 26, needs to set out clear guidelines and criteria on climate finance, according to Oxfam. The report also underscores the importance of having common accounting rules and standard reporting formats to boost transparency  a long-standing issue surrounding climate finance.

The report provides some of the key elements that should be included in a common accounting system, such as defining new money as excluding previously pledged, planned or allocated funds, and making sure that only grants  not loans  are counted as climate finance.

The report also emphasizes that climate finance should be on top of ODA, arguing that “climate change is an additional burden to developing countries that requires additional resources.” And it notes that while investing in low-carbon technologies are important, it “does little” to help communities cope with the impact of climate change.

Through adaptation finance, farmers could install small-scale irrigation systems or have access to reliable weather forecasts, according to the report.

How developed countries will be able to meet their $100 billion a year climate finance pledge to developing countries by 2020 will be among the prime topics at the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, which runs Nov. 26 to Dec. 7.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.