A Glossary of Climate Finance Terms

Do you speak ‘climate finance’?

This glossary is for anyone who wants to know their way around the complex language of finance products and institutions related to climate change.

As you’ll discover below, many of these terms are politically contested – even ‘climate finance’ itself.

As participants in these debates, we’re no more neutral than anyone else, but we have tried to give readers a sense of why these disputes arise, and of the main different interpretations that are currently circulating.

You’ll also notice that we’ve placed a particular focus on terms that relate to the financial sector. That’s a deliberate choice too. With an ever greater emphasis being placed on ‘leveraging’ private finance, we wanted to make clear what was at stake in placing ever more reliance on banks, private equity funds and other financial services providers.

This remains a work in progress, and we’ll be posting updates on this site. If you have any comments, queries of suggestions, we’d love to hear from you!

Still want more? Here’s a list of the most commonly used climate finance acronyms.