Climate Finance Accountability

Climate Finance Accountability


The climate crisis is arguably the world’s greatest development challenge, as well as one of the most significant public finance challenges governments will face for decades to come. Globally, hundreds of billions of dollars each year will be mobilized to mitigate and adapt to climate breakdown and pave the way for a sustainable and resilient future.

Regardless of source, much of this money will be managed by national and subnational governments through their general budgeting systems, many of which fail to comply with international standards for transparency and accountability. These systems are likely to generate inadequate, poorly designed, or poorly implemented investments in climate change mitigation and adaptation, placing those most affected by climate hazards — poor and marginalized people — at grave risk. Failure to improve these systems will have serious implications for global efforts to nurture equitable, just, and sustainable societies, such as the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals.

Climate finance accountability is most likely to happen within a strong budget accountability ecosystem in which there is engagement in the use of climate-related financial resources among and between a range of state and non-state actors, including those from civil society, the executive, legislature, and audit institutions. This engagement should happen throughout the budget cycle and can be in both formal and informal spaces. Civil society organizations have a critical role to play because they possess knowledge about community needs and potential solutions that is critical to government decision making, as well as relationships with communities that allow them to monitor budget execution on the ground. However, to play this vital role effectively, CSOs need access to information on how the government is raising and spending funds for climate action, formal opportunities to participate in budget processes, and the capacity to take advantage of both.

Given the magnitude of the crisis and the integral role of public budgets, IBP is working to ensure that climate financing is harnessed to avert disaster and redress its impact on the most vulnerable people and communities. For more information, contact Delaine McCullough, IBP Head of Climate Finance Accountability, at

Climate Finance Accountability Resources

Budgeting for a Greener Planet

This paper assesses the climate finance accountability landscape in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and the Philippines and examines how government, formal oversight institutions, civil society, citizens, and media in each country engage in decision making and monitoring of the use of public funds for climate action. The report establishes a climate finance accountability framework and aims to draw lessons and guide actors — both global and domestic — on entry points to strengthen systems.

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Tracking Climate Change Funding: Learning from Gender-Responsive Budgeting

This paper looks at what budgeting for climate change initiatives can learn from gender-responsive budgeting.

Budget Brief No.11 – Governing Climate Finance: The Importance of Reporting Guidelines and Review Mechanisms to Ensure Transparency and Accountability

This brief looks at climate finance over the past year and how the current level of reporting is inadequate to the task of ensuring that funding commitments are fulfilled and funds are used effectively.   It touches on the important role that civil society and public participation within countries receiving climate funds can play in decision making and oversight and presents recommendations for reporting mechanisms and public participation for the COP-16 and future negotiating sessions to consider.

Budget Brief No. 9 – Accounting for Results: Ensuring Transparency and Accountability in Financing for Climate Change

More than 190 countries are gathering in Copenhagen from December 7-18, 2009, to decide on the next significant steps to avoid the catastrophic impacts of climate change. To achieve this goal, one of the things that the international community must negotiate is targets for new, significant, predictable, and stable finance to support developing countries’ transition to low-carbon economies. A significant amount of these resources will be raised from public sources in developed countries and invested in developing countries, and will be managed by one or more international institutions.


Making it Count: Accountability in Climate Finance

In June 2019, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and IBP co-hosted a seminar on domestic climate finance management, featuring civil society actors from Uganda and the Philippines to discuss how they are advancing effective, equitable adaptation finance systems to build resilience in a changing climate. This seminar was part of the WRI’s Greening Governance Series.

Learn more: Watch the recording | Read the presentation