While a number of internationally agreed documents such as the Copenhagen Accord (2009) state that “new and additional” climate finance will be needed, it still remains unclear what this actually means and how climate finance additionality should be defined and recorded in statistics on official development assistance (ODA). This  Policy Brief seeks to clarify this concept.
The 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference will provide a major opportunity for the international community to identify further tangible steps to adapt to the challenges posed by rising global temperatures. Climate finance will be a cornerstone of the implementation of the agreed outcomes of the Conference, and a coherent, robust and transparent financial structure will be central to achieving its agreed objectives.
The Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has recognized in a number of its decisions that further work is necessary to clarify this concept. Defining and agreeing on additionality should be one of the priorities in the development debate, as the continuing lack of an internationally agreed definition makes data recording and policy analysis difficult.
There are a number of interpretations of what additional official flows for climate change and adaptation mean, summarized below.