Post Copenhagen synthesis report
The reformed financial mechanism of the UNFCCC Part II
The question of oversight
This Synthesis Report presents the key results of the second phase of a major analytic project on a reform of the Financial Mechanism of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It synthesizes four OIES Energy and Environment Papers, and (updated versions) of four preliminary policy briefs by the lead author of this Report, published in the run up to the recent Copenhagen Climate Conference.
The success of the current international climate change negotiations crucially depends on how much finance is going to be made available to support developing country climate change activities, and it is unlikely that adequate financing will be forthcoming in the absence of an acceptable governance framework. The overall aim of the Reformed Financial Mechanism (RFM) project is to provide such a framework.
The work undertaken for this Report had its roots in an ongoing informal dialogue between UNFCCC negotiators facilitated by the lead author. In the course of this dialogue, it became apparent that a number of key issues in the management of international climate finance were in need of further analysis. Firstly there was the role of political oversight by the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP) in particular. Other areas identified as being in need of further elaboration were independent oversight in general, and of auditing, in particular, and public oversight in the sense of oversight by civil society stakeholders. Finally, there was the issue of oversight of financial commitments under the UNFCCC.
The second phase of the RFM project was hence aimed at generating recommendations on:
- How to design decision making (processes and remits) for the UNFCCC COP and RFM executive body so as to ensure sufficient political oversight and buy-in, without the danger of over-politicized micro-management of the RFM financial flows.
- How to ensure proper stakeholder representation, in particular, how to design the selection of stakeholder representatives, and how to design their role in the decision-making process.
- How to design independent oversight (audit, monitoring, and evaluation) procedures within the framework of existing legal arrangements which will provide sufficient safeguards against malpractice both at the international and the national level.
- How to oversee financial flows to ensure compliance with financial commitments
You can download the full research paper here.