By Amy Quirk, IPL & CIPL Supporter
Pledges at COP28 inspire hope. The first five days of the negotiations drew financial pledges of “$83 billion dollars” (https://www.barrons.com/news/pledges-made-so-far-at-the-cop28-climate-talks-f619c769). To sustain that hope, the faith community needs accountability. The financial pledges must be realized as capital flows, not numerical hyperbole.
There are resources to help assess the fulfillment of financial pledges. Here are three:
The Climate Action Tracker (https://climateactiontracker.org/about/) is a scientific project tracking government climate action and measures against the terms of the Paris Accord. Since 2009, it has been providing independent analysis to policymakers.
Climate Action offers a readily accessible rating system to evaluate a nation’s performance in key areas, including “Climate Finance.” For example, here is the summary assessment of the United States:
This is a snapshot of Climate Action Tracker’s ratings for the United States on Nov. 1st, 2023 (more detail is on the website):
The Natural Resources Defense Council created the COP28 Climate Fund Pledge Tracker to facilitate accountability (https://www.nrdc.org/bio/joe-thwaites/cop-28-climate-fund-pledge-tracker).
For example, the monitoring includes commitments to three major climate funds of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/what-is-the-united-nations-framework-convention-on-climate-change):
Adaptation Fund – to finance concrete adaptation projects and programs in developing countries “especially vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change” (https://unfccc.int/Adaptation-Fund).
Green Climate Fund – to support projects, programs, policies, and other activities in developing countries “using thematic funding windows” (https://unfccc.int/process/bodies/funds-and-financial-entities/green-climate-fund).
Loss and Damage Fund – to help “particularly vulnerable developing countries” to address loss and damage arising from climate change.
One interesting feature of the Loss and Damage Fund is that in addition to pledges from governments, “the fund is also able to accept funding from private entities and innovative sources, so it is possible some philanthropic foundations may announce contributions.” (https://www.nrdc.org/bio/joe-thwaites/cop-28-climate-fund-pledge-tracker)
Here is a sample of NRDC’s tracking system, but note that detailed tables are available on their website:
There are also public reports on financial contributions to climate funds under the purview of the UNFCCC.
Here are two:
Reports on funds received for the Adaptation Fund are here: https://www.adaptation-fund.org/about/contributors/
Reports on funds received for the Green Climate Fund are here: https://www.greenclimate.fund/about/resource-mobilisation/gcf-1 (GCF report on 2020-2023 First Replenishment)
Bottom line? Granular tracing of a specific financial pledge from a nation-state, a multinational bank, or sometimes even a philanthropic institution is not always easy to do. But there are resources to assist the faith community in securing financial accountability.