International finance for climate change has become an important focus for how rich countries with high historical emissions will help developing countries shift away from carbon-intensive development to lower carbon development pathways.
The 2010 Cancun Agreements state that developed countries should provide new and additional resources for developing countries approaching $30 billion for the period 2010 to 2012 and that longer-term funding should come from both public and private sources to mobilise $100 billion per year by 2020. Much of this conversation has stayed at the level of demanding transparency in pledges and commitments from contributor countries to address climate change in developing countries, and ensuring that governments adhere to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) principle of 'responsibility' and 'capability' to pay.
But what is often missing from the international debate is evidence of what is happening ‘on the ground’ as international pledges are increased and recommendations for future action are often made without significantly supported evidence of what the situation is. Is finance actually reaching climate change mitigation and adaptation activities? How is it being delivered? Are lessons from the aid effectiveness debate being considered? And what can we learn for the future?
These are important questions for European donors, especially given European fast start funding (FSF) pledges at Cancun and a new Green paper on the future of budget support that covers quality, value for money and impact of budget support