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Commonwealth Expert Group calls for transparency in climate finance

22 November 2013
A Commonwealth expert group convened to explore practical actions to help unlock resources for small and vulnerable Commonwealth countries combat climate change impacts has called for transparency and accountability in the processes and procedures of accessing climate funds.

The Commonwealth Expert Group on Climate Finance, which was led by the former President of Guyana Bharrat Jagdeo presented the report of its findings during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 15 November 2013.

The Group was convened by Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma to identify how best to access existing financial resources to support low-emission and climate-resilient development in small and climate-vulnerable states.

The Expert Group’s report focuses on the needs of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and the link between climate change and development. It highlights that the current arrangements for developing countries to access financing and support on climate change are too complex, and sets out a number of recommendations to Commonwealth leaders to improve the flow of financing to the most vulnerable member countries.

Speaking while presenting the report to Heads of Government in Colombo, former President Jagdeo said that some of the most climate-vulnerable people in the world are in the Commonwealth.  
Some of the main recommendations of the Group include:

  • improving the transparency and accountability of international climate finance by focusing on clearer definitions of what is meant by climate finance, and improving reporting mechanisms;
  • taking practical action to provide skills and advice to countries and help them navigate their way through access procedures for finance; and working with climate finance providers to simplify the access arrangements for SIDS and LDCs;
  • driving action on climate across all government departments, not leaving this issue to one individual ministry or agency, but integrating it fully within national development plans and budgets;
  • leading international discussions on climate change and climate finance, by attending the UN Secretary-General’s Summit in 2014 and the UN climate change conference in France in 2015; and through the Post-2015 Development Agenda negotiations; and
  • helping to align global financial regulation to support the transition to a global low carbon economy.

The full composition of the Group was as follows:

  • H.E. BHARRAT JAGDEO (Guyana) was the President of Guyana from 1999 to 2011, and currently holds a number of global leadership positions in the areas of sustainable development, green growth and climate change.
  • Dr FATIMA DENTON (The Gambia), PhD, is the Co-ordinator for the Africa Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
  • Dr SALEEMUL HUQ (Bangladesh/UK) is Director for the International Centre for Climate Change & Development, Independent University in Bangladesh and Senior Fellow in the Climate Change Group at the International Institute for Environment and Development.
  • Mr SEAN KIDNEY (Australia/UK) is CEO and co-founder of the Climate Bonds Initiative, an investor-focused not-for-profit working to mobilize bond markets for the rapid transition to a low-carbon and climate resilient economy.
  • Dr KENRICK LESLIE (Belize), PhD, is the Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC).
  • Mr RICHARD S MUYUNGI (United Republic of Tanzania) is the Assistant Director of Environment in the Vice President’s Office of the United Republic of Tanzania and the National Climate Change Focal Point.
  • Ms CORAL PASISI (Niue) is currently the Regional and International Issues Adviser of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) focusing on sustainable development policy.
  • Mr DAVID PITT-WATSON (UK) is Chair of the UNEP Finance Initiative. He was formerly a senior fund manager, and is currently an Executive Fellow in finance at London Business School.  
  • Mr DAVID RUNNALLS (Canada) is distinguished fellow at the Centre for Governance Innovation and senior fellow at Sustainable Prosperity and the Institute for the Environment at the University of Ottawa.
Download the Commonwealth Expert Group’s report.

Hard copies are available upon request.

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