World Bank and UN launch website to help developing countries access green funding
The Climate Finance Options (CFO) web platform, envisioned as the go-to site for information on climate finance will help developing countries in their efforts to identify critical sources of funding to combat climate change.
"Developing countries need access to information on potential sources of finance, inspiring best practice examples, research results and tools for better investment decision making. The Climate Finance Options Platform provides a window to such information," said Warren Evans, director of the World Bank's Environment Department.
Developing countries often face an information gap as they search around for funds to support their climate change development needs. Those needs are demanding increasingly enormous amounts of financial flows- as much as USD100 billion for adaptation and USD175 million for mitigation per year in developing countries by 2030. Many developing countries are already taking action from their own scarce resources.
"Accessing finance from the growing number of climate funds - all with different criteria and requirements - is a complex and time-consuming business for many developing countries," said Andrew Steer, World Bank Group special envoy for climate change, in a statement. "This website disentangles the spaghetti, providing user-friendly information that will help officials, NGOs and entrepreneurs to tap into finance with a minimum of fuss."
The CFO provides a number of services. It documents and analyzes the types of funds available, how much is available for what, the criteria for accessing them, how the monies are governed and administered. The Platform also provides examples and prototypes of successful cases in which different funds were blended to get the maximum impact. And the CFO is a knowledge center with a wide range of literature and tools to enable project developers to analyze their own projects for better informed decisions.
The Platform will generate a number of benefits:
Improved access to information on climate finance as a basis for more informed planning and decision making by developing country governments;
Greater equity in the ability of users from countries and communities with varying levels of capacity to access the system;
Useful documentation in preparation of policies related to financing mitigation and adaptation;
Greater efficiency in climate finance transactions;
Faster deployment of mitigation and adaptation projects;
Better coordination among the UN System, MDBs and other actors including the private sector, in financing for climate action in developing countries.
Artur Runge-Metzger, the head of the European Commission team in Cancún, defended the use of loans insisting that they were a more effective means of funding energy efficiency projects than grants. "It is a revolving fund," he said. "You insulate your house and you save the money and then the fund can be lent to someone else."
However, some developing countries remain wary of climate funding initiatives that would require repayments and are demanding that the bulk of the money promised by industrialized nations should be provided as grants. Questions are also being asked about the extent to which the $30bn promised by industrialized nations represents additional funding or a re-purposing of existing development budgets.