Aggregate trends of climate finance provided and mobilised

In 2020, the initial target year of the USD 100 billion goal under the UNFCCC, total climate finance provided and mobilised by developed countries for developing countries amounted to USD 83.3 billion. While representing an increase of 4% from 2019, this means that the collective level of developed country climate finance remained USD 16.7 billion short of the goal.

As presented in Figure 1 and Table 1 and further detailed in Annex A, climate finance provided and mobilised by developed counties include four components: bilateral public climate finance, multilateral public climate finance (attributed to developed countries), climate-related export credits, and private finance mobilised by public climate finance (attributed to developed countries). Looking at trends for the different components over the available period:

  • Public climate finance (bilateral and multilateral) accounted for the majority of the total. It increased by 80% between 2013 and 2020 (from USD 38 billion to USD 68.3 billion), and increased consistently year on year since 2015. Within public climate finance, multilateral public climate finance attributable to developed countries grew by 138% between 2013 and 2020, while bilateral public climate finance grew by 40% over the same period.

  • Mobilised private climate finance, for which comparable data are only available from 2016 (see note below Figure 1.1), increased by close to 30% over 2016-2020. Climate-related export credits increased by 19% over 2013-2020, but their share in the total remains small. Both export credits and mobilised private finance experienced year-on-year variations as well as drops in recent years, most notably in 2020 compared to 2019.

At an aggregate level, it is not possible to determine the extent to which the COVID-19 crisis and its aftermath may have impacted levels of climate finance in relation to the USD 100 billion goal. COVID-19 may have delayed the climate finance project pipeline for some individual climate finance providers and recipients, but the relative increase in total climate finance provided and mobilised between 2019 and 2020 (4%) is slightly higher than between 2018 and 2019 (1%). On the other hand, different components of climate finance experienced different evolutions: while public climate finance increased, mobilised private climate finance dropped.

In terms of scope, as highlighted in (OECD, 2020[6]), the climate finance figures presented in this report do not capture all finance for climate action in developing countries. Due to the geographical scope, the figures include neither developing countries' domestic public climate finance, nor bilateral public climate finance between developing countries in the context of the so-called “South-South” cooperation, or multilateral and mobilised private climate finance attributable to developing countries themselves. Further, the figures presented include neither private finance catalysed by public policy interventions, for which there remains a lack of measurement methodology, nor private finance invested in the absence of public interventions altogether.

Mitigation and adaptation finance provided and mobilised by developed countries both grew in absolute terms over 2016-2020. However, between 2019 and 2020, while adaptation finance rose by USD 8.3 billion (41%), mitigation finance dropped by USD 2.8 billion (5%).1 In 2020, mitigation represented the majority (58%) of total climate finance provided and mobilised (Figure 2).

Mitigation finance focused on activities in the energy and transport sectors. Between 2016 and 2020, these two sectors continued to account for close to half (46%) of the total climate finance provided and mobilised. In contrast, adaptation finance focused on activities in the water supply and sanitation sector; and agriculture, forestry and fishing, which together accounted for 17% of total climate finance provided and mobilised between 2016 and 2020.

As in previous years, public climate finance in 2020 mainly took the form of loans (71% or USD 48.6 billion, including both concessional and non-concessional loans) and, to a lesser extent, grants (26% or USD 17.9 billion). Between 2016 and 2020, as displayed in Figure 3, the annual level of grants increased by USD 5.6 billion (a 46% growth) and the volume of public loans by USD 15.3 billion (also 46%).

Public finance providers mobilise private finance through different types of mechanisms. Over 2016-2020, direct investments in companies and project finance special purpose vehicles (SPVs), which are typically implemented in the context of large infrastructure projects, mobilised the largest share of the total, at 43%. Guarantees, which are designed to reduce risks, came second with 19%. However, the relative share of different mechanisms in total private finance mobilised by developed countries fluctuated year on year.

In 2016-2020, as presented in Figure 4, Asia was the main beneficiary region of climate finance provided and mobilised by developed countries, accounting for 42% of the total. Africa (26% of the total), the Americas (17%), Europe (5%) and Oceania (1%) followed.2 In terms of income groups, lower-middle-income countries (LMICs) were the main beneficiaries, accounting for 43% of total climate finance provided and mobilised in 2016-2020. They were followed by upper-middle-income countries (UMICs, 27%), low-income countries (LICs, 8%) and high-income countries (HICs, 3%).

Large volumes of climate finance provided and mobilised were concentrated in a limited number of highly populated developing countries in Asia, Africa and the Americas. Between 2016 and 2020, the top 10 recipient countries, which represented 58% of the recipient countries’ population, benefitted from 34% of total climate finance provided and mobilised. This share reaches 50% if considering the top 20 recipients, which accounted for 74% of the total recipient countries’ population (Figure 5).

Between 2016 and 2020, as shown in Figure 6, the 40 Small Island Developing States (SIDS), the 46 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and the 57 fragile states3 respectively represented 2%, 17% and 22% of total climate finance provided and mobilised4. The yearly median of per capita climate finance provided and mobilised5 in these countries was USD 81 for SIDS; USD 14 for LDCs, and USD 11 for fragile states, compared to USD 21 when considering all recipient countries.


← 1. Year-on-year variations in the thematic split of climate finance provided and mobilised can be influenced by both large individual projects (notably infrastructure) as well as changes in methodologies used by each provider for identifying the climate theme of an activity and for determining its climate-specific amount. Donor countries and multilateral institutions use different methodologies to track mitigation- and adaptation-specific finance.

← 2. These regions cover developing countries only, as defined in Annex B, e.g. the regional grouping “Europe” refers to Non-EU/EEA Europe.

← 3. Fragile states are those defined by the OECD multidimensional fragility framework (OECD, 2020[16]).

← 4. As these three country groupings partly overlap, the figures cannot be added up.

← 5. Per capita amounts are calculated as the median rather than average value because the distribution of per capita amounts is highly skewed: for example, the highest per capita SIDS recipient benefitted from a yearly average of USD 1700 per capita over 2016-2020. In contrast, the lowest per capita SIDS recipient benefitted from only USD 4 per capita per year.


This work is published under the responsibility of the Secretary-General of the OECD. The opinions expressed and arguments employed herein do not necessarily reflect the official views of the Member countries of the OECD.

This document, as well as any data and map included herein, are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area.

The statistical data for Israel are supplied by and under the responsibility of the relevant Israeli authorities. The use of such data by the OECD is without prejudice to the status of the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and Israeli settlements in the West Bank under the terms of international law.

Note by the Republic of Türkiye
The information in this document with reference to “Cyprus” relates to the southern part of the Island. There is no single authority representing both Turkish and Greek Cypriot people on the Island. Türkiye recognises the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Until a lasting and equitable solution is found within the context of the United Nations, Türkiye shall preserve its position concerning the “Cyprus issue”.

Note by all the European Union Member States of the OECD and the European Union
The Republic of Cyprus is recognised by all members of the United Nations with the exception of Türkiye. The information in this document relates to the area under the effective control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus.

Corrigenda to publications may be found on line at:

© OECD 2022

The use of this work, whether digital or print, is governed by the Terms and Conditions to be found at