Policy Innovations / Climate change

Climate change

There has been little focus on bringing the principles of climate finance together in a governance framework. Yet this will help determine whether climate finance is effective, efficient and equitable

Niel Bird, Research Fellow, Overseas Development Institute

As efforts to tackle climate change intensify – with billions of dollars being promised to support this work – transparency and accountability have a critical role to play in making sure those resources are used effectively. The need to ensure that climate change financing is transparent is increasingly pressing.

As new institutions are created and old ones reformed to mitigate against and adapt to climate change, their effectiveness will depend on robust transparent and accountable structures. They need to deliver access to better quality information to policy makers as well as to people who are affected by climate change.

The 2010 Cancun climate talks produced substantive agreements on the need for transparency and efforts to promote transparency, and accountability in this sector are growing. Whilst a variety of initiatives now scrutinise emissions data and the actions of various countries, much more work is needed to strengthen this aspect of our response to climate change.

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Cross-sector research

As part of the Policy Innovation working group, the Transparency and Accountability Initiative is moving the climate change agenda forward by exploring the contribution that transparency and accountability can play in this sector. By testing best practices from other sectors including from natural resource governance, budget transparency and aid transparency, we are promoting new strategies for integrating transparency and accountability work into climate projects.

Our research also looks at ways in which innovative policies and programmes can:

  • Empower citizens to respond to climate change and avoid high carbon lock-in
  • Ensure the poorest and most vulnerable in society are not excluded
  • Reveal power imbalances and contribute to effective regulation in national and international processes
  • Provide better quality of and access to, information to enable informed and effective policy decisions and engagement
  • Provide a robust system of accountability to enable collective action

Climate change is just one of six themes in our Policy Innovation working group: Donor aid, natural resource governance, budgets, open government partnership and financial reform. All five have a direct impact on climate issues.

Our research includes two other work areas:

  • Read about the Impact and Learning working group and how it reviews the impact of transparency and accountability initiatives worldwide.
  • Read about the New Technologies working group and how it stimulates and advances the wider use of new technologies in the transparency and accountability field