United States

Improving transparency and accountability through improved tracking of climate finance flows

 

UN Climate Summit, New York

OECD - Climate Policy Initiative: Improving transparency and accountability through improved tracking of climate finance flows

 

Remarks by Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General

22 September 2014 – New York, United States
(As prepared for delivery)


Dear Colleagues,

 

I am delighted to be here to kick-off this joint OECD – Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) event on “Improving transparency and accountability through improved tracking of climate finance flows”.


In Cancun in 2010, developed countries embraced a UNFCCC goal to mobilise 100 billion US dollars per year in climate finance for developing countries by 2020. The international community cannot afford to miss this crucial climate goal.


The transparency and accountability gained from tracking these financial flows through robust information and statistics is essential. Not only to secure necessary financing, but also to plant the seeds of trust to making progress on a new international agreement at COP 21 in Paris next year.

At present, public finance is dwarfed by private investment. Recent estimates show that it accounts for less than a third of total flows. Public finance, however, remains a catalyst as it is essential in setting the pace and in driving the ambition about how private resources are directed.


With better tracking of climate finance we can boost accountability and transparency. We can ensure that both the public and private sectors are meeting their commitments and that financing is going where it is needed most.

 

The OECD’s progress in monitoring public and private climate finance.


I would like to congratulate you all on the significant progress already made to date. The measurement and reporting of public climate finance has gained momentum across a wide range of organisations. And we are firmly on the road to improving the coverage, quality and access to information, particularly on international public finance flows.


At the OECD, the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) is working intensively on this agenda – under Erik Solheim’s leadership – to refine and improve our statistics on climate-related flows of development finance. This is coupled with our ambitious work which is focused upon modernising the concept of development finance and streamlining private and public sector finance flows.


The OECD also co-ordinates a Research Collaborative on Tracking Private Climate Finance. We found that, in 2010, approximately 53-60% of North-South climate finance came from private sources. This is huge! However, a major information gap on private climate finance remains, making it difficult to fully grasp what is occurring at the global, country and sector level.


The OECD Collaborative will recommend how to measure and track private climate finance flows to, between and in developing counties. You will hear much more about this from the panel.

 

But we are not the only ones driving progress.


Development Finance Institutions – through the International Development Finance Club and the Multilateral Development Banks initiative – have also recently begun tracking their climate finance flows. This is mainly driven by their ambitious climate goals and the need to monitor progress. Export credit agencies are also increasingly engaged to pro-actively monitor progress.


Last but not least – let’s not forget independent research institutions, notably the Climate Policy Initiative, which has played an invaluable role in supporting the international community.


In the past few years, CPI has painstakingly woven together disparate strands of relevant information to provide us with an overall landscape of climate finance flows. They advise us on what it all adds up to and provide us with independent opinion, drawing on their own careful research and inputs from others.


Taking our efforts to the next level.


The global architecture for the tracking of climate finance flows continues to pose problems. We need better quality, more coherent data and reporting. We need a way of capturing a comprehensive picture of all global climate finance flows. At the very minimum, this requires us to develop:

  • Internationally agreed definitions for climate finance;
  • An integrated data system to robustly capture and combine all relevant data across the range of key bilateral and multilateral, public and private sources and to track the evolution of flows;
  • Clearer methodologies; 
  • Greater efforts on data collection; and, 
  • Coordination across the full range of relevant partners.

Striking a balance between robust monitoring and keeping our goals realistic and affordable is a must. Our efforts can build on existing data systems and avoid divergent and duplicative reporting. This will keep costs down while expanding the coverage and the quality of information, as well as accessibility.


Ladies and Gentleman,


This year and next are critical in the fight against climate change. We now have a unique window of opportunity to improve the tracking of climate finance. We need to be open, ambitious, transparent and collaborative. In particular, we must collectively enhance our efforts and strengthen our collaboration across key initiatives. Together we can gather the data that will enhance accountability and build trust towards a successful global climate deal. The OECD is fully committed to this endeavour.


In closing, please allow me to wish you all the best for a fruitful discussion this afternoon. Thank you.