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Global Spotlight Report #8: The Status of Climate Finance in Leading Greenhouse Gas Emitting Countries

Country Managers identified key issues affecting international climate finance in leading greenhouse gas emitting countries. They first identified whether their country was an international climate finance donor or recipient, and then described the effectiveness of their efforts (if they were a donor country) or the impact of international assistance (if they were a recipient country).

There are many insights that can be gleaned from reviewing the totality of the country posts in this global report. For example, countries are using a wide range of international climate funding mechanisms, such as multilateral development banks, UN agencies, bilateral assistance, and private sector investment. The Green Climate Fund, which remains undersubscribed, is only a small part of global international climate finance.

Many recipient countries (e.g. Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Thailand ) report the lack of a system for targeting international climate finance with the needs of recipient countries for specific mitigation or adaptation efforts. Conversely, several donor countries, e.g. Canada and the EU, have a need for better mechanisms to report on and account for the impact of their investments.

It also is clear, that despite the diversity of funding mechanisms, the overall level of donor finance support is too low to meet the needs of poorer countries. Several donor countries, such as France and the UK, report that their level of funding is diminishing. Only a few countries (Canada, China, France, the UK, the EU and Japan) have made substantial commitments, and the US has reneged on $2 billion of its $3 billion pledge to the Green Climate Fund.

Hopefully there will be an effort at COP 24 to ramp up and better coordinate international climate finance. The Green Climate Fund seems to be in a state of disarray after the resignation of its Director. There also is an overall sense, at least based on our reports, that the flow of finance support is somewhat random, based more on political considerations than climate mitigation/adaptation needs. Hopefully, discussions at COP 24 and elsewhere will lead to making the international climate finance system more inclusive, transparent and accountable.

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