The Netherlands government launched a web site at the informal Geneva Dialogue on climate finance held over two days in Geneva 2-3 September 2010. The website aims to provide transparency over sources and allocation of climate finance commitments. So far six European countries, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway and UK, and have detailed some fast-track climate related information on the new website. Eurodad and Publish What You Fund responded to the Netherlands initiative with the following press release.
Civil society organisations are calling for greater progress on making information on climate finance available, following the Netherlands’ launch of a new website to track climate finance at the ministerial meeting on climate finance taking place in Geneva today.
“We welcome efforts to improve access to information on climate finance commitments, but the new web site does not meet the minimum standards of transparency needed to ensure that these funds can be tracked and used effectively,” says Nora Honkaniemi, Advocacy Officer at the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad).
At the climate summit in Copenhagen last December, developed countries pledged to provide developing countries with $US30 billion to finance adaptation and mitigation in developing countries during the period 2010-2012. In the run up to Copenhagen, the EU and its 27 Member States committed to funding totalling €2.4 billion annually and recognized that “a Copenhagen agreement will require a gradual but significant scaling up of both public and private financial flows to developing countries.” 
”European governments must build on the Netherlands government initiative and take the lead in swiftly integrating global transparency standards for climate finance with the emerging International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) standards to generate comprehensive, timely and comparable information,” says Karin Christiansen, Director of Publish What You Fund. This must be a first crucial step to ensure that money is effective and additional, that donors can be held accountable for their climate and aid promises, and that citizens in Europe and around the world know the truth behind the climate funds for impoverished countries.
To ensure that European governments live up to their promises and do not double count previous aid commitments against their new climate finance pledges, comprehensive, comparable and timely information standards are urgently needed.
These standards must:
- Define what qualifies as climate financing
to ensure that it genuinely contributes to achieving climate objectives and does not undermine development goals;
- Define what is new and additional – clarify which funds were already pledged before Copenhagen and how these are additional to previous ODA commitments; 
- Be compatible with the emerging aid transparency standards being developed in the International Aid Transparency Initiative in order to enable the tracking, coordination, effectiveness and additionality of climate finance; and to ensure the quality of the delivered funds meet internationally agreed aid effectiveness commitments, UN criteria and G77 demands;
- Ensure that the information provided is comprehensive, covering the full range of channels, policy, terms and conditions, allocations and disbursements, details of transactions, and governance arrangements of the climate funds.
Nora Honkaniemi, Advocacy Officer, Eurodad – tel. 00 32 28944645
Karin Christiansen, Director, Publish What you Fund – tel. 00 44 20 7022 1909
Notes to Editors:
Eurodad (the European Network on Debt and Development) is a network of 59 non-governmental organisations from 19 European countries who work together on issues related to debt, development finance and poverty reduction. The Eurodad network offers a platform for exploring issues, collecting intelligence and ideas, and undertaking collective advocacy.
Publish What You Fund is the global campaign for aid transparency, advocating for a
significant increase in the availability and accessibility of comprehensive, timely and comparable aid information, with the World Bank, U.S., and EU as our main targets – http://publishwhatyoufund.org/
The International Aid Transparency Initiative, know as IATI, was launched by the Netherlands Minister for Development in Accra Ghana in Oct 2008. It “aims to make information about aid spending easier to access, use and understand”. Its main function is to develop a global standard for the disclosure of aid information. The 18 IATI signatories are: Australia, Denmark, Finland, Germany (BMZ), Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland (SDC), UK, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, the European Commission (EC), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI), Hewlett Foundation.