Recently at the Annual Meeting of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund in Lima, several institutions indicated that the amount of climate financing would need to be scaled up dramatically in the near future. The Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), requested that the Paris Agreement scale up the Financial Mechanism of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and she also highlighted the need for further funds. The GCF is the operating entity of the UNFCCC Financial Mechanism and the largest climate fund. At the same meeting the World Bank Group revealed that it plans to increase its climate financing to potentially amount to US$ 29 billion per year, thus by 2020 the Bank Group could be allocating more than a quarter of its funds towards climate financing. Currently, the World Bank is the interim Trustee for the GCF. Other institutions followed suit, for example the African Development Bank (AfDB) announced that it foresees climate financing accounting for 40% (or US$ 5 billion annually) of its total investments by 2020.
Climate finance is a key element of the draft text for the UNFCCC agreement, released on 5 October 2015, which contains the basis for the negotiation of the Paris Agreement. To ensure climate financing is transparent and accountable there should be participatory decision-making, implementation and monitoring processes. Lessons from other multilateral financing initiatives has shown that civil society engagement is fundamental to ensuring accountability. The options for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to help ensure a robust, well-functioning, and responsive accountability mechanism within the GCF were explored in a Briefing Paper, commissioned by Transparency International (TI), and authored by Both ENDS with contributions from Natural Justice earlier this year. The Briefing Paper was submitted to the GFC Board ahead of its 10th meeting in July, and the findings also contributed to a submission by TI in response to the GCF’s Call for Public Inputs on the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework.
As we head towards a possible agreement at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in November/December in Paris, and consequent implementation of the Convention thereafter, accessible grievance mechanisms which fairly and effectively handle grievances related to corruption and/or violations of social-environmental safeguards will be essential.