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GCF discusses progress at Marrakech climate talks

Marrakech,

The Green Climate Fund hosted its first side-event at the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Climate Change in Marrakech to present the progress it has made to date in supporting low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways in developing countries.

The session focused on GCF’s overarching vision, highlighting the need to ignite a true paradigm shift towards low-emissions and climate-resilient development. Combined with a strong notion of country ownership, the GCF Board has placed capacity building at the core of the institution to ensure countries have the capabilities to properly engage with the Fund.  

“This is an incredibly ambitious mandate, and the GCF Board is committed to fulfilling it,” said Zaheer Fakir, Co-chair of the GCF Board (South Africa). “We are working to create a Fund that is innovative and truly transformational; one that has the backing of all countries, as much as by civil society and the private sector organizations.”

GCF’s readiness and preparatory support programme is central to these efforts. It enables developing countries to receive support to assist them in accessing GCF resources.

So far, 57 developing countries are receiving readiness support, with USD 16 million in readiness grants already approved. Of these countries, 37 are Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and African States.

GCF officials participating in the session pointed out the recent expansion of the Fund’s readiness programme. At its meeting in June this year, the Board decided to include support for the development of National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and/or voluntary adaptation planning processes that enable countries to receive up to USD 3 million for such efforts, panellists explained.

Under GCF’s Project Preparation Facility (PPF), Accredited Entities (AEs) can receive support for the development of funding proposals for submission to the GCF Board.

The Board has agreed to a simplified approvals process for proposals under USD 50 million, an endeavour which is expected to enhance access to resources for SIDS and LDCs in particular.

Within one year, the Green Climate Fund has allocated more than USD 1 billion, for a total of now 27 approved funding proposals, covering 37 countries. This includes a total of USD 562 million for public sector investments, and USD 607 million for proposals targeted at leveraging the resources of the private sector.

“GCF’s private sector portfolio alone is expected to unlock USD 9.4 billion in on-ground investment,” said Ewen McDonald, GCF Co-chair (Australia). “GCF investments will give the private sector confidence to commit resources into projects they have so far avoided,” he explained. “This is a leverage ratio of over 1 to 15 that demonstrates the game changing potential of GCF.”  

The GCF Board has set an aspirational target of approving USD 2.5 billion in funding proposals in 2016.

“We have seen a steady increase in the amount of funding approved on each occasion when the GCF Board considered proposals,” said Javier Manzanares, GCF Executive Director a.i. “At B.11, the Board approved USD 168m; at B.13 – USD 265m; and at B.14 – USD 745m.”

The GCF Board will convene its 15th meeting in December this year, in Apia, Independent Republic of Samoa.

The side-event included presentations from Accredited Entities that have had projects approved by the Board’s recent round of investment decisions, specifically by the Environmental Investment Fund (Namibia), as well as by the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB).

The National Designated Authority of Morocco, represented by H.E. Ms. Hakima El Haite, Minister of the Environment of Morocco, addressed the gathering to express her appreciation for the support from GCF, both during the accreditation and project development processes. Building on the Co-chairs remarks, she emphasized the need to simplify GCF’s business procedures.

More than 300 participants attended the meeting. An audio recording of the session available here.

The next GCF side-event at COP 22 will take place on Wednesday 16 Nov. at 12.45h and address the Implementation of the Paris Agreement from a GCF perspective.  

Participants in the Marrakech COP are encouraged to engage with staff of the Fund at the GCF Dome, located on the main Boulevard of the ‘blue zone’.