African Climate Policy Centre Report on ‘Fast Start Finance’

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA – Today – The African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC), the technical arm of the Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDev Africa) programme, based at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), released a detailed report on the current provision of climate finance.

The report finds that there are many lessons to be learnt from the current ‘fast start finance’ system, which was supposed to deliver $30 billion in ‘new and additional’ funding to developing countries, and was agreed at the Copenhagen climate conference.

Launching the report, Yacob Mulugetta, Senior Energy and Climate Specialist at the ACPC said, ‘The experience with the “fast-start” pledges and discussions of the $100 billion promise suggests that the adequacy and predictability of climate finance may remain very low if the future climate finance architecture reflects current practice.’

‘African countries, as well as many other developing countries, are vulnerable to climate change and are among those least likely to have the resources required to withstand its adverse impacts – yet there has not been any indication that the magnitude of climate finance will meet the scale of what is needed.’ Seyni Nafo, Spokesperson of the African Group said.

‘Long-term climate finance needs to be accountable and transparent. In Africa, we need to know how much is new, where it is coming from, and whether it will be directed to the adaptation projects that are desperately necessary,’ he insisted.

The study shows that:

  • Of the $29.2 billion pledged since 2009, only between $2.8 and $7.0 billion is “new” (i.e. not previously pledged);
  • The total amount of funds that are both “new and additional” (i.e. on top of aid budgets) would be less than $2 billion.
  • While 97% of the promised $30 billion has been pledged, only 45% has been “committed”, 33% has been “allocated” and only about 7% has been “disbursed”
  • That finance is being directed toward ‘mitigation’ projects over ‘adaptation’ projects instead of being ‘balanced’ between the two with around 62% allocated for mitigation, 25% for adaptation and 13% for REDD+ (forestry, which should count as mitigation)
  • The current finance available for Africa and other developing countries under the fast-start finance is not commensurate to the scale required to implement the activities agreed to in the UN climate convention;
  • There are few agreed benchmarks for climate finance so there is limited transparency and accountability as to how the money is provided.

Please contact Yacob Mulugetta, African Climate Policy Centre (UNECA), +27714177993, YMulugetta@uneca.org for a copy of the report

  • The African Group is the group of 53 African countries represented in the UN climate change negotiations. It is chaired by Mr. Tosi Mpanu Mpanu of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  
  • The African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) is a joint initiative of the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB). The Centre is based in the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa