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Difficulties in accounting for private finance in international climate policy


Stadelmann, Martin; Michaelowa, Axel; Roberts, J Timmons (2013). Difficulties in accounting for private finance in international climate policy. Climate Policy, 13(6):718-737.

Abstract

It is widely acknowledged that private finance has a key role to play in achieving low-carbon development and resilience to climate change. However, while there have been several studies that have closely examined the data on public climate finance, there have been few such studies of the private climate-related finance data. There is a political dimension to accounting for ‘private finance’ given the commitment of industrialized countries – enshrined in the Copenhagen Accord and the Cancun Agreements – to mobilize US$100 billion of public and private finance for developing countries by 2020, on an annual basis. The availability and quality of data for different types of private climate finance flows with climate benefits (investments, carbon market payments, and voluntary funding) are analysed, and these flows are assessed according to various criteria for inclusion in the $100 billion figure. While existing data suggest that private climate finance invested in developing countries and mobilized by industrialized countries might currently be in the range of $27–123 billion per year, this number is a questionable point of reference. Existing data are limited and of very poor quality: definitions of ‘private climate finance’ are missing and data are hardly verified. Therefore, policy makers will first have to clearly define ‘private climate finance’ and develop systems for measuring, reporting, and verifying it, before using private finance numbers in international climate agreements.

Abstract

It is widely acknowledged that private finance has a key role to play in achieving low-carbon development and resilience to climate change. However, while there have been several studies that have closely examined the data on public climate finance, there have been few such studies of the private climate-related finance data. There is a political dimension to accounting for ‘private finance’ given the commitment of industrialized countries – enshrined in the Copenhagen Accord and the Cancun Agreements – to mobilize US$100 billion of public and private finance for developing countries by 2020, on an annual basis. The availability and quality of data for different types of private climate finance flows with climate benefits (investments, carbon market payments, and voluntary funding) are analysed, and these flows are assessed according to various criteria for inclusion in the $100 billion figure. While existing data suggest that private climate finance invested in developing countries and mobilized by industrialized countries might currently be in the range of $27–123 billion per year, this number is a questionable point of reference. Existing data are limited and of very poor quality: definitions of ‘private climate finance’ are missing and data are hardly verified. Therefore, policy makers will first have to clearly define ‘private climate finance’ and develop systems for measuring, reporting, and verifying it, before using private finance numbers in international climate agreements.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Global and Planetary Change
Physical Sciences > Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
Physical Sciences > Atmospheric Science
Physical Sciences > Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
Uncontrolled Keywords:Atmospheric Science, Environmental Science (miscellaneous), Global and Planetary Change, Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
Language:English
Date:1 November 2013
Deposited On:26 May 2023 14:09
Last Modified:29 Jun 2024 01:36
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1469-3062
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/14693062.2013.791146