What counts: tools to help define and understand progress towards the $100 billion climate finance commitment

As Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) design a post-2020 climate agreement and establish their national contributions within it, the question of progress toward existing climate finance targets has become a sticking point. While mobilizing $100 billion will not meet the climate investment challenge by itself, the goal is currently the primary political benchmark for assessing progress on climate finance. This paper aims to make a positive contribution in the lead up to Paris by first unpacking the key variables Parties have emphasized in debates about “what counts”, and then proposing an approach to classifying climate finance that Parties could use as a starting point for their analyses and interpretations. It takes no position on what should count towards the $100 billion: instead it organizes different aspects of climate finance in politically relevant ways that could help facilitate clearer understanding and convergence.