Green Climate Fund Urged to Fix Draft Information Plan

7 October 2013

Revisions are needed in the draft policy on information disclosure about to be considered by the Green Climate Fund (GCF), according to the Global Transparency Initiative.

The GCF is an international financial institution which uses lending to promote compliance with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The draft policy on information disclosure is on the agenda for consideration by the Board at its fifth meeting in Paris from Oct. 8-10.

“We very much welcome the fact that the GCF is moving forward quickly to put in place an interim policy on openness,” said Toby Mendel, Executive Director of the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD). “However, the regime of exceptions to the right of access is far too broad, while the rules for processing requests are very weak and need to be strengthened.”

Proactive disclosure of information takes up 26 of its 36 operative paragraphs, according to the analysis, only three paragraphs, “containing three limited rules,” are devoted to processing requests, and only one paragraph is devoted, respectively, to exceptions and appeals, according to the GTI comment authored by CLD.

The key recommendations in the note are:

  • The regime of exceptions is too broad and too many exceptions are not harm-tested.
  • The procedures for lodging and responding to requests should be substantially expanded to address important issues such as what needs to be included in a request, the time limits for responding to requests and providing assistance to requesters.
  • The policy should make it clear that appeals will be decided by a panel which includes representatives who are independent of the GCF.

“We recognise that this is just an interim policy, but we believe it would be unfortunate to set a negative precedent regarding exceptions and would take little effort to improve the section on procedures,” the note says. “We urge the Board of the GCF to adopt a draft policy which will serve as a strong basis for openness during the interim period.”

In a related development, over 100 organizations from the developing world have written to the Green Climate Fund demanding integrity and transparency in the allocation of funds promised by the developed world to tackle climate change.

In a letter to the board members of the GCF, 133 NGOs from developing countries called for the adoption of a robust environmental and social framework through which the GFC could operate.

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Filed under: IFTI Watch

ABOUT IFTI WATCH

In this column, Washington, D.C.-based journalist Toby J. McIntosh reports on the latest developments in information disclosure in International Financial and Trade Institutions (IFTI).
Contact: freeinfo@gwu.edu or
1-(703) 276-7748