In July 2015, the third International Conference on Financing for Development (FFD) will be held in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. The conference will set the tone for international ambition on key issues around sustainable development, including climate action. It is also a first test of the international ambition to advance efforts on the future of sustainable development funding.

The intention of the conference is to move forward on the main objectives set out in the first two FFD conferences, in Monterrey and Doha. The objectives of these meetings surrounded the implementation of previous UN agreements, the mobilisation of various flows of finance, and tackling recent phenomena like the international financial crisis.

As a preparation of the conference a ‘Zero Draft’ has been published to use as a basis for the negotiations. Given the multiplicity of challenges to achieving sustainable development, there needs to be much more consideration and inclusion of the three pillars of sustainable development – social, economic and environmental. We therefore believe that the current Zero Draft can still be improved to address cross-cutting concerns such as climate change.

In line with our broader recommendations (found here) for the integration of climate change in the Finance for Sustainable Development outcome we specifically advise that FFsDs to endeavour to do the following:

  • Build on the assertion to align all financial flows with sustainable development and ensure that all financial flows are adequately climate proofed.
    We define climate proofing as ensuring that all finance and financial flows prioritize renewable energy, low-carbon and environmentally sound development solutions, for example in policy and investment plans for energy and infrastructure projects; incorporation of climate adaptation efforts across sectors such as agriculture, infrastructure and fisheries.
  • Strengthen the reporting and verification mechanisms
  • Incorporate a similar set of principles and criteria for private finance as those applied to ODA and other public finance. We also need to look at the economic, environmental, social and governance criteria that should be applied to public-leveraged private finance. We cannot accept that public money is used to leverage private finance where there is a high risk and eventual negative impact on climate action.

The Finance for sustainable Development Conference is a prime opportunity for both finance ministers and Heads of State and government to demonstrate strong global solidarity in the fight against poverty, inequality and climate change. In order to do this, we need to see stronger efforts to shift our flows of finance and genuinely practice what is so often preached.