Guidelines for Reporting Climate Finance Information

The World Resources Institute issued a new working paper today titled “Guidelines for Reporting Information on Climate Finance.”  This paper provides valuable guidance on how to improve the current system for reporting and compiling information on public financing for climate change. Its goal is to help Parties to the UNFCCC develop robust reporting processes for climate finance.  As is usual from the WRI, this paper is concise, to the point and of excellent quality – a recommended read for policy makers, professionals and corporate executives.

This paper discusses different ways to improve the current system for reporting and compiling information on public financing for climate change, including:

  • How and what kind of financial data is currently collected and reported by the UNFCCC, private organizations, and multilateral development banks (MDBs).
  • A vision for an improved financial reporting system, and different options to achieve that goal.
  • The potential implications and operational consequences of an improved reporting system.
  • Examples of proposed reporting formats (See Appendix 1).

Key Recommendations from the paper, as cited from the Executive Summary are:

  • Parties could make significant improvements by adopting a standardized financial reporting format based on components of existing systems. This reporting format should ensure that reporting is complete, transparent, comparable, accurate, and efficient. However, before launching an effort to either revise or initiate a new means to collect financing data, Parties to the Convention will need to determine the kinds of data they want a climate finance reporting system to provide. This will determine the extensiveness of any expanded data collection effort and its likely cost.
  • Parties should consider implementing a more robust process to review reported data. This could include launching voluntary pilot projects to establish how reviews could be successfully conducted, using independent, non-political technical financial experts, formally establishing clear rules and guidelines for civil society participation in the review process, and improving record keeping so that data between countries can be compared.
  • A revised reporting system will likely require the redesign of existing databases and search engines. If Parties wish to have a centralized data system, they will need to decide where such a system should be located and will need to develop new procedures for collecting and processing financial data.
  • The introduction of a revised/new reporting system will take time to implement. A key step in this process is the adoption of a decision at COP 16 (2010), if not sooner, to request the UNFCCC secretariat to cooperate with the MDBs, the OECD DAC, and experts from developing countries to formulate a proposed decision on draft guidelines for reporting of financial information.

Read the full working paper here in PDF format.

Citation: Dennis Tirpak, Athena Ballesteros, Kirsten Stasio, Heather McGray, Guidelines for Reporting Information on Climate Finance, World Resources Institute, May 2010

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