Finance Smoothie

21 June 2019

Did you know ECO was here before the smoothie bar?

Smoothie machines are great. You get a blender and insert let’s say apples and oranges and you could try to get a smoothie€¦ wait… what?? Would you really drink a smoothie made of apples and oranges? We all know that does not make a good mix. If you think about it, apples and oranges are normally placed in separated baskets when you go to a store. And at the end of the day, just like you can’t compare loans and grants, you don’t mix apples and oranges.

ECO has been actively observing the discussions on transparency of support, particularly those linked to the adoption of the common tabular format of the Enhanced Transparency Framework agreed in Katowice (CTF). This CTF aims to enhance trust and make room for the new types of information that countries agreed on €” support provided, mobilized (for contributor countries), received and needed (for developing countries).

ECO listened carefully and wonders if this warm weather and the accumulated number of smoothies negotiators have had lately to quench their thirst has inspired them to come to the room with very interesting and creative proposals to make the best out of this CTF. ECO wants to weigh in:  

  • ECO agrees that the already existing CTF constitutes a good basis for negotiation. However, as many Parties mentioned in the room, this is an enhanced CTF we’re looking at, meaning that Parties should provide better quantitative and qualitative information. And by the way, this would also be an opportunity to make sure the data reported under the UNFCCC finally matches the one reported under the OECD DAC.
  • In Katowice, countries agreed on very important principles to be reflected (some “as available”, some “as applicable”) as part of the new reporting: climate specificity and grant equivalents. Well, it’s time to incorporate this in the new CTF, and the best way to do it would be to include them in specific and separate columns, next to the overall amount of the reported activity. Remember, apples in one basket, oranges in another.
  • Furthermore, ECO advises parties to make sure that there is comparability between the tables for the support provided (or mobilized), and the support received and needed. To make this happen, both contributors and recipients should agree on the amounts to report so they match in the corresponding tables. So if one claims to have given an apple the person who received it should be able confirm it was indeed an apple.
  • Finally, ECO would strongly encourage you to report support at the activity level, and not only aggregate figures. Just like if you want to report the apples, the are reported one after the other, this is as simple as that.

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