Quality and impact of German climate finance

Complying with international commitments is a fundamental question of credibility and responsibility between governments. At the same time, Germany’s contributions to international climate finance are intended to enable adaptation to climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, facilitate a shift toward low-carbon economic growth, and help protect forests in developing and emerging countries.

Evaluation and impact of German climate finance

The question of the effectiveness of the projects and programs financed and of climate finance in general has not been much of a focus of the German government’s reporting to date. The reporting to the UNFCCC does not contain any information to this end. At the national level, public information that allows initial conclusions to be drawn about the quality of German climate finance is only gradually being released. So far, this has mainly been done at the level of individual projects. Very little consolidated information has been available to the public. Nevertheless, a lot has happened in recent years with regard to the evaluation and impact of German climate finance.

Project evaluations

The BMZ does not publish any information on the evaluations of projects categorized as climate finance. Reports on individual projects are available on the websites of the implementing entities, however:

  • GIZ publishes short reports of project evaluations as well as individual overall reports of central project evaluations in the GIZ publication database.
  • KfW also publishes short reports of project evaluations on its website.

It is not possible to search for projects categorized as climate finance from a central location, however. The projects are assigned to various sectors (energy, water supply and sanitation, agriculture and rural development) or can be filtered by country.

The International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) provides information on the monitoring and evaluation of IKI projects on its website. This includes the results of the overall evaluation of 2014, but not the individual project evaluations.

Impact studies on climate finance

The German Institute for Development Evaluation (DEval) is carrying out initial comprehensive impact studies that not only look at individual projects financed by Germany, but also at overall funding in individual sectors of governmental and non-governmental development cooperation. DEval is funded by the BMZ, but works independently of it. The evaluation projects are selected by DEval on the basis of proposals by the BMZ and the parliamentary sphere, as well as DEval’s internal proposals.

The DEval institute has been working on two main studies on climate change:

  • In 2019 a study of the adaptation portfolio of German development cooperation was published. The study examined the entire portfolio according to OECD DAC criteria (relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability) as well as the coordination, complementarity and coherence of actors, planning and implementation processes. It is intended to contribute to the strategic evolution of German climate finance overall, the instruments and modalities used, and project planning and implementation.
  • In 2020 a synthesis study on REDD+ was published that examined the effectiveness and impact of the REDD+ projects funded by the German government from 2008 to 2018. Based on this an overall assessment of the REDD+ approach as a means for forest and climate protection was deducted.
  • Other evaluations are on adaptation interventions in agriculture, water and coastal protection as well as on dealing with residual climate risk meaning the unavoidable risks even when mitigation and adaptation is implemented.

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