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Understanding finance in the Global Stocktake

Working paper

Written by Charlene Watson, Leo Roberts

Working paper

At COP24 in Katowice, Poland in 2018, the foundations for the first Global Stocktake (GST) in 2023 were adopted. This working paper provides initial analysis – through desk research, expert interviews, survey and discussion – of how finance will be considered within the current provisions of the official GST. It was written for the Independent Global Stocktake (iGST), a data and advocacy initiative that brings together climate modellers, analysts, campaigners and advocates to support the Paris Agreement by providing analysis and research to support the accuracy, transparency and accountability of the GST.

It considers both the provision of support to developing countries to mitigate and adapt to climate change, and the consistency of all finance flows with climate objectives. The GST could also usefully seek to understand the effectiveness of spending and how loss and damage finance would be included, if at all. Equity is also enshrined in the GST, but it may fall to independent actors to analyse progress on equity.

The GST is a process of information collection, technical assessment and consideration. The Biennial Assessment and Overview of Climate Finance Flows (BA) will be a formal input into the collective process. The information within the BA is broadly aligned with GST objectives, however it does have data gaps that could influence the interpretation of results for the GST. Other inputs will be needed to fill the data gaps and better contribute to success of the GST. A transparent process of inputs will be needed to ensure political buy-in and participation of non-UN Framework Convention on Climate Change actors that hold substantial information but who may not face strong incentives to submit.

There are three broad areas in which independent initiatives such as the iGST could add value to the GST:

  1. Working to fill research and data gaps in finance: the iGST might support data initiatives that feed into building frameworks and taxonomies, define future benchmarks and pathways to understanding consistency of finance flows, and develop methods to approach equity in finance and data gaps.
  2. Building convergence and critical mass in understanding around core topics to finance: the iGST can use its independence to work with a diversity of actors across political and technical challenges, building and testing a single framework – in national, sub-national and sectoral contexts – and sharing progressive and best practice examples. It might build a critical mass in understanding how loss and damage finance could be included or how equity could be operationalised.
  3. Understanding how finance discussions can raise climate ambition: at its highest level, the GST aims to increase ambition in the provision and consistency of finance for climate action; the iGST is in a position to explore how GST finance discussions might influence the ambition of nationally determined contribution cycles. 

Charlene Watson and Leo Roberts