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Protecting climate finance: An anti-corruption assessment of the Global Environment Facility’s Least Developed Countries Fund & Special Climate Change Fund

This reports analyses the policies and practices that the Global Environment Facility’s Least Developed Countries and Special Climate Change funds have to prevent corruption and enable accountability, aiming to contribute to the positive development and strengthening of the funds to support effective achievement of their objectives.


Elges, L., C. Martin, B. Norwsworthy, H. van Asselt, A. Atteridge, M. Benzie, Å. Persson, and E. Remling (2014). Protecting climate finance: An anti-corruption assessment of the Global Environment Facility's Least Developed Countries Fund & Special Climate Change Fund. Transparency International report.

Through these funds, the GEF focuses on strengthening developing countries’ resilience to climate change, supporting a global portfolio of adaptation projects and programmes in more than 100 countries with total grant resources of nearly USD 1 billion.

Overall, the GEF aspires to and exhibits a number of best practices regarding transparency. It could, however, improve, particularly by ensuring information and reports are more consistently made available to the public. In addition, it should ensure information regarding anticorruption rules and safeguards of downstream actors are disclosed and easily accessible on its website. Transparency of council meetings could be bolstered by opening them to a more observers.

In terms of accountability, clear and comprehensive processes are in place to ensure the investigation and sanctioning of the secretariat and trustee. However, further rules and procedures regarding behaviour of council members and the council as a body are needed. Sanctions for GEF partner agencies are also not sufficiently clear.

Project-level accountability is delegated to partner agencies. The effectiveness of this is difficult to assess given the scant availability of information. Downstream accountability needs to be much better demonstrated in clear and consistent ways.

Fund policies regarding civil society participation are advanced. The GEF has identified ways of further strengthening participation and consultation. These steps should be taken without delay.

The GEF sets fiduciary standards that partner agencies are expected to meet. These could, however, be broadened to the level of a GEF-wide zero-tolerance of corruption policy.

Read the report (external link to Transparency International)

SEI authors

Åsa Persson
Åsa Persson

Research Director and Deputy Director

SEI Headquarters

Aaron Atteridge
Aaron Atteridge

SEI Affiliated Researcher

SEI Asia

Profile picture of Magnus Benzie
Magnus Benzie

Senior Research Fellow

SEI Oxford

Profile picture of Harro van Asselt
Harro van Asselt

SEI Affiliated Researcher


Topics and subtopics
Climate : Finance

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