The capacity for countries to build transparency for effective climate action gets boost through funding extension of ICAT

At a time when the world assesses the progress made under the Paris Agreement, global support to help developing countries advance on a key building block of the Agreement was reinforced through the funding extension of the Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT). ICAT donors extended the Initiative to mid-2026 and committed funding close to USD 35 million, so that more support can be provided to countries in building their transparency frameworks and using them to effectively implement, track and then further enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement.

Transparency is the backbone of the Paris Agreement and ensures international accountability among its contracting parties, but it also allows for effective policy processes domestically, enabling stakeholder buy-in and integration of climate action into national planning. It assists the implementation of policies and actions and the monitoring of progress towards targets set for 2030 and for longer term decarbonization.

Renewed support comes from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU); Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF); ClimateWorks Foundation (CWF);  and the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea (IMELS). ICAT, which is managed by the United Nations Office for Project Services, will further scale the impact it has already achieved in helping its 40 partner countries build the transparency frameworks needed to take effective climate action and advance national sustainable development priorities.

According to Ms. Svenja Schulze, Minister of the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety of Germany: “ICAT’s emphasis on linking climate transparency and sustainable development through data and needed information helps to mainstream climate policy in national development planning. This is key for transformational change and supports a green recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our support to ICAT via the International Climate Initiative (IKI) helps to accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

ICAT’s work focuses on using transparency for evidence-based policy. Over the next five years, ICAT will support countries to enhance NDC implementation through (1) effective tracking of progress, (2) improving reporting under the Paris Agreement due by 2024, and (3) using better data to further strengthen their NDCs in 2025.

Mr. Sergio Costa, Minister for the Environment, Land and Sea of Italy: “With the extension of ICAT, a large number of countries, directly and indirectly, will be able to better design, implement and track their NDCs and report on this as part of the concerted, global effort. This is good for the climate globally and for sustainable development at home. And it is particularly positive for the most fragile countries, about which ICAT cares most. No one must be left behind in the climate action.

Together with its network of expert partners, ICAT will continue to deliver hands-on support to over 60 national and subnational governments in developing effective transparency systems tailored to the countries’ needs and priorities. ICAT also plans to establish and run three Regional Climate Action Transparency Hubs to support capacity development of countries in particular regions, and it will further develop its open-source suite of methodologies, tools, and metrics to assess the impact of climate policies.

Ms. Sonia Medina, Executive Director, Climate Change, of CIFF: “Paris Agreement needs an accountability and transparency framework that is fully fleshed out. Countries around the world need to ramp up their climate actions to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement and keep temperature increases below 1.5 degrees C. ICAT’s efforts on climate action transparency can play an instrumental role in enabling countries to achieve transformational change through evidence-based policy-making and hence secure the long-term success of the Paris Agreement.

A key driver behind the funding extension of ICAT is its approach to supporting countries. ICAT has been positively evaluated for not only its policy focus and agility to respond to country needs, but also the emphasis it places on ensuring that capacities built continue to benefit its partners in a sustainable manner. ICAT is also recognized for its flexibility to innovate and create replicable approaches and long-term orientation through the facilitation of peer-to-peer collaboration and knowledge sharing.

According to Ms. Charlotte Pera, President and CEO of the ClimateWorks Foundation: “ICAT taps the power of collaboration to help countries deliver effective climate action. This innovative partnership between governments and philanthropy supports greater national climate ambition and transparency.

ICAT will also collaborate with a number of partner initiatives to strengthen a global community of practice on transparency through widespread knowledge sharing activities and targeted resources. It will engage with financial institutions to build links between national transparency frameworks and project-based finance. Dr. Henning Wuester, Director of ICAT, states: “ICAT is greatly encouraged by the support from its donors and is now ready to move transparency efforts forward in close collaboration with its partners. Transparency can be an integrating factor that links all aspects needed to ensure transformative action from knowledge to finance.

For more information about ICAT’s activities, its partner countries, the type of support ICAT provides, or the tools it develops, please get in touch with the ICAT Secretariat:

Photo credit: Joseph Mensah, Location: Akosombo Dam, Ghana