Role of ‘Finance Board’

Legal assistance paper

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Date produced: 05/06/2010

What is the difference, in legal terms, between the Finance Board (not the CGCF board) proposed to sit ‘between’ the COP and the Copenhagen Green Climate Fund (Fund) (which has its own Board – the  CGCF Board) having oversight, overview and coordination of the Fund?

Summary: In our view, and as set out above, ‘co-ordination’ would give the Finance Board the greatest control over the Fund. The next level of control would be ‘oversight’, with ‘overview’ giving the Finance Board, the least control over the Fund.

As far as we are aware, there is no specific relevance attached to any of these terms in international law. As such, international law requires that these words be interpreted according to their ordinary meaning.

Oversight

Oversight would normally suggest a level of supervision over the Fund, maintaining an ability to make recommendations and potentially take action in influencing the direction of the fund.

Having oversight of the Fund would also suggest having access to and supervision of any decisions made in relation to the fund, and also forming a view as to the preferred course of action (including possibly playing an investigatory role) – (similar to the concept of “congressional oversight” in the US where congress has a power to review, monitor and supervise government agencies and their policies). This would most likely be the equivalent of the Fund being “under the guidance of and accountable to” the Finance Board.

Overview

Overview would suggest mere observatory powers perhaps with the ability to make recommendations (but not necessarily binding recommendations). This would most likely be the equivalent of the Fund being “accountable to” the Finance Board only.

Co-ordination

Co-ordination would suggest a more intrusive power, such as to proactively influence the functions and direction of the Fund. It could, depending on how it is defined, extend to exercising some kind of mandatory influence over the Fund. This would most likely be the equivalent of the Fund being “under the authority and guidance of and fully accountable to” the Finance Board.