Fast-start finance to address climate change: what we know at the mid-point

Working and discussion papers
August 2011
Jessica Brown, Martin Stadellman and Lena Hornlein

The 2009 Copenhagen Accord includes a collective pledge by industrialised countries to provide ‘new and additional resources, including forestry and investments through international institutions, approaching $30 billion for the period 2010-2012. The allocation of these new resources is to be balanced between adaptation and mitigation’ (UNFCCC, 2009). These resources are commonly called ‘fast-start finance’ (FSF). As fast-start finance is seen as a testing ground for longer-term arrangements for climate finance, it is important to explore how this funding has been used to date and what lessons should be drawn for the future.

This Background Note looks at how FSF promises have been implemented in practice. We begin by providing an overview of the knowledge on FSF as of June 2011, roughly halfway through the 2010-2012 period. We analyse funding volumes, the mitigation-adaptation balance, the grant-loan share and the proportion of multilateral and bilateral channels. We then go on to focus on governance, transparency, and sources of finance.

This Background Note is based on a longer chapter entitled ‘Fast start finance: scattered governance, information and programmes’ to be published in the forthcoming Routledge book Carbon markets or climate finance: Low carbon and adaptation investment choices for the developing world (Michaelowa, forthcoming).

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