Green Climate Fund at a crossroads
Over the past four years, the Board has invested great effort into setting up a major new, multilateral organisation that has the potential to transform international cooperation on climate change.
The operational mechanisms that the Board has developed are quite promising:
- the Fund has a strategic priority to help developing countries directly access GCF funding through their own national and regional institutions, including through an innovative readiness programme supporting the operationalisation of country-ownership at different levels, with the private sector facility;
- the Fund now has a dedicated window that allows it to directly engage with micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries; and
- all activities and technologies financed by the Fund must be consistent with the internationally agreed upon temperature goal.
These recent enhancements in the Fund’s ability to meet its objective are welcomed.
This overall package has convinced contributing countries to provide the Fund with the largest sum ever provided to a multilateral climate fund – more than USD $10 billion.
At the last meeting of the Board, we were encouraged by the news that a number of private sector entities in Sweden stand ready to donate to the Fund. Indeed, the interest in the Fund is certainly growing. As it now stands, over 80 national, regional and international institutions have applied to become implementing partners.
All this puts the GCF in an excellent starting position to make an impactful contribution toward international efforts to combat climate change.
What is missing however, is a clear plan by the Board on how it intends to use its advanced operational mechanisms and the Fund’s significant resources to strategically achieve its stated objectives. The lack of such a plan risks the Fund falling into the well-trodden multilateral funding path of implementing its objectives by channelling responsibility to already-established funding institutions. This would be quite unfortunate, as the GCF would miss the opportunity to live up to its immense potential.
With the GCF, the international community has an historic opportunity to provide an integrated approach toward the provision of assistance to developing countries, especially in the implementation of their national and regional climate change strategies and plans. These strategies, already in place for many countries, can create large potential for synergies to achieve true transformation.
It is now in the hands of the GCF’s Board to make a decision on whether the GCF will just be an additional layer in the administrative pipeline that channels money to other multilateral institutions – or whether it will take advantage of its unique position.
The GCF is already set to be the climate institution whose main business model includes working directly with (and empowering) national and regional institutions in implementing developing countries’ climate change strategies and plans. The Board will approve the composition of the Fund’s initial project portfolio at its next meeting, helping to determine exactly which road the GCF will eventually take.
COP28: social and economic metrics could serve as stepping stone for Global Goal on Adaptation
As work on shaping the Global Goal on Adaptation culminates this week at COP28, we explore if social and economic metrics could be used as proxies for a country’s ability to adapt.
Safeguards and exit points for the World Bank as host of the Loss and Damage Fund
An agreement was reached to establish the World Bank as the interim host of the Loss and Damage Fund. Developing countries signed up to this on certain conditions. We unpack the safeguards put in place and look at the three points at which the Fund could exit the World Bank.
Beetaloo gas field is a climate bomb. How did CSIRO modelling make it look otherwise?
The fossil gas industry is gearing up for a truly enormous new fracking project in the Northern Territory’s Beetaloo Basin that could undo all Australia's efforts to cut emissions.
From droughts to floods: how Eastern African countries are responding to the rising El Niño and Indian Ocean Dipole
The Horn of Africa looks set to go from one disaster to another as floods intensified by a rising El Niño and a positive Indian Ocean Dipole are predicted to follow a prolonged drought. We take a look at climate policies in the region and what countries are doing to prepare for compound extreme events.
The just transition looks different for small islands – their voices must be heard
The concept of a just transition is gaining momentum, yet it’s too often viewed through a developed country lens in international climate talks and discussions often ignore the links to climate justice. The unique concerns of small islands must be heard to ensure the just transition works for all.
Overshoot Commission’s veneer of neutrality is solar radiation modification PR by stealth
Calls for a moratorium on solar radiation modification (SRM) today by the Overshoot Commission seem sensible – such sun-blocking technologies are highly risky. Yet in the same breath, the Commission appears to encourage moratorium-busting SRM testing, begging the question – is their new report a trojan horse?
Loss and damage: two options in play for fund’s makeup
There are currently two options on the table for the loss and damage fund’s structure – ‘programmatic’ and ‘responsive’. We reflect on the pros and cons of each.
El Niño is contributing to the hottest temperatures ever recorded – what does this mean for the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit?
Extreme weather is raging across the northern hemisphere. Our experts explain the implications of the emerging El Niño for our changing climate.