Climate Finance Integrity Forum
On the 3rd of April 2017, TI-Korea, in collaboration with Institute for Climate Change Action, and Korea Green Foundation, held a forum in Seoul on climate finance governance integrity and related environmental transparency and accountability topics.
The said event aimed at raising greater awareness about climate finance with three broad topics including action and resources for climate integrity, climate finance in and from Korea, and South Korea’s actionable next steps.
Mr Sun-Hi Lee, TI-Korea’s co-chairperson, commenced the event by outlining the primary objectives of the forum. Sun-Hi, in particular, mentioned raising awareness of climate issues among Korean citizens and other relevant stakeholders, exploring the establishment of a working group to work on climate integrity issues, and encouraging the Korean civil society to identify areas of policy. The recommendation should aim to strengthen and develop an action plan for reforms and to push the government to establish climate finance anti-corruption policies.
Mr Weert Borner, the Deputy of Mission from the German Embassy in Seoul, shared his thoughts and support for TI-Korea’s activities on climate finance integrity. He emphasized the need for all governments and various stakeholders to be more vigilant and active in promoting transparency in climate finance projects. Also, he congratulated and hoped for the success of the event and our future endeavors.
Lisa Elges, Head of Climate Policy, Transparency International, presented her topic on climate integrity with emphasis on action and resources. As an introductory information, she discussed the climate finance activity impacts on mitigation and adaptation, the Paris Agreement, and the support to developing countries/regions for various development and climate resilient livelihood, among other relevant points. More specifically, Lisa emphasized the need for climate finance integrity so that the “climate money achieve impact and is not wasted or misused for unintended purposes.” To achieve climate integrity, various steps for climate accountability should be taken such as implementing the various processes in measuring, reporting, and verification (MRV) of climate finance.
The second speaker, Professor Suh-Yong Chung, talked about the climate finance in and from South Korea. He presented the various aspects of climate finance in South Korea and its financial support for climate change gas emissions reduction being channeled through overseas development assistance programs including the country’s support for the Green Climate Fund’s programmes and activities.
Mi-Kyoung Lee of Korea Green Foundation’s Executive Director talked about the actionable next steps of South Korea about climate integrity. Ms Lee discussed on what the Korean civil society could do locally to reduce climate gas emissions, and what sort of climate finance policies should we push which the government should establish. For such visions to be realized, she said that there should be a collective mind and effort among various stakeholders, disclosure of information and proper evaluation and enforcement of relevant processes in the national ministries, and expand the participation of citizens in climate finance related issues.
Right after the presentations from the speakers, a panel discussion was held with the participation of the three speakers. The panel was moderated by Dr Byong Ok Ahn, head of the Institution for Change Climate Action in Seoul. During the activate question and answer portion, the consensus is that for climate finance and its related activities to be successful the interaction between the government (relevant institutions and officials) and the civil society is the key. For instance, the concerned governmental agencies and public servants should be more transparent and supportive enough by disclosing climate finance information to be publicly accessible. On the civil society’s side, they should be keen on monitoring governmental activities on climate finance and gather heads together to create and propose policy recommendations on climate finance that can strengthen either their lack or absence thereof.
Finally, right before the three-hour event was closed, a climate finance Working Group was suggested to be organized. A plan to draw up a collaborative policy recommendation on climate finance and environmental integrity was presented to the participants. The product of the planned collaboration, which was readily agreed by those present, will be submitted to relevant governmental ministries and seek for its approval and incorporation in the existing applicable laws and policies.