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July 2016

GCF Dispatch

A Roundup of News from the Green Climate Fund
July 2016

GCF Dispatch is a short compilation of news related to the Fund. This roundup is published periodically to keep partners — Board members, National Designated Authorities (NDAs), Accredited Entities (AEs), contributors, civil society, and private sector actors — up to speed on GCF activities. For more frequent updates, follow the Fund on Twitter at @GCF_News.

EXECUTIVE VIEWPOINT: Reflections from my final Board meeting

Last month’s Board meeting was the final one of my tenure as Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Whilst my three-year mandate continues until September, this was my final opportunity to work with the Board during its formal sessions. We had a successful meeting – the results of which are outlined in this edition of the GCF Dispatch. 

On the final day of the meeting I shared some reflections with the Board about the past three years. It seems appropriate to share some of these thoughts with you now.

The Green Climate Fund was conceived to make a significant and ambitious contribution to the global efforts to combat climate change. Importantly, GCF operates in such a way as to scale up our collective efforts to transition to low-emission and climate-resilient societies, everywhere.

The Paris Agreement and the countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions provide us the high level framework. While NDCs are an important reference point for the Fund’s programming, many of the NDCs describe objectives (“ambition”) rather than the projects (“pathways”) needed to get there. So we need to identify, develop and implement the enabling country-level reforms and investments that are required.

I believe in this institution, and I wish you all and our Green Climate Fund to succeed.

Héla Cheikhrouhou
Executive Director

Thirteenth Board meeting approves USD 257M project investments, encourages high impact proposals

The thirteenth meeting of the Board (B.13) took place at the Fund’s headquarters in Songdo from 28-30 June. The Board approved funding proposals totaling USD 256.6 million in GCF funding (details below), and took other decisions to attract high impact proposals and to boost access to climate finance, whilst reiterating its aspirational USD 2.5 billion approvals target for 2016.
The Board decided that the Project Preparation Facility (PPF) will support project and programme preparation requests from all accredited entities, especially direct access entities and especially for projects in the micro-to-small size category. Funding available is up to USD 1.5 million for each proposal.
Furthermore, in order to expedite support to developing countries for the formulation of National Adaptation Plans (NAP) and other related national adaptation processes, the Board approved up to USD3 million per developing country under GCF’s readiness programme.
The Board also allocated USD200 million for direct access pilot projects, and USD100 million for support to Micro-, Small-, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs). Further details of the Requests for Proposals for these two new initiatives are given below.
The compendium of B.13 decisions is available online, as well as on-demand video sessions of the meeting, which was live webcast for the first time:

USD 200M pilot approved for direct access projects

The Fund has announced the launch of a pilot phase for additional modalities to enhance direct access. This first phase will provide an initial allocation of USD200 million for around 10 pilots, including at least four in LDCs, SIDS and African States.
The allocation will strengthen countries’ decision-making authority over resources to supporting their climate change projects and programmes.
Countries are invited to work with both accredited direct access entities and potential entities to develop proposals and submit their concept notes by the end of July 2016 to be considered in the first batch, and by the end of January 2017 to be considered in the second batch. Consult the RFP and FAQ for more information.

USD 100M RFP issued to support Micro-, Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

During its B.13 meeting, the Board has endorsed a request for proposals (RFP) to invite qualified financial institutions that will undertake the design, implementation and management of strong, high-impact projects and programmes in support of micro-, small, and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the climate space.
The initiative unlocks up to USD 100M of potential funding for MSMEs.
The deadline for the receipt of concept notes for the first RFP is 30 August 2016. See the RFP for full details. 

Nine new proposals  approved for funding

The nine projects approved for funding at the B.13 meeting are:
  • USD21.7 million for Energy Savings Insurance (ESI) for Private Energy Efficiency Investments by Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in El Salvador with IDB
  • USD20 million for De-Risking and Scaling-up Investment in Energy Efficient Building Retrofits in Armenia with UNDP
  • USD20.5 million for Large-scale Ecosystem-based Adaptation in The Gambia: Developing a Climate-Resilient, Natural Resource-based Economy in Gambia with UNEP
  • USD22.8 million for Africa Hydromet Program – Strengthening Climate Resilience in Sub-Saharan Africa: Mali Country Project with World Bank
  • USD29.5 million for Improving the Resilience of Vulnerable Coastal Communities to Climate Change Related Impacts in Viet Nam with UNDP
  • USD 9 million for a Project to Support the World Bank’s Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Program for the Aral Sea Basin in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan
  • USD36 million for Tuvalu Coastal Adaptation Project with UNDP
  • USD38.1 million for Strengthening the Resilience of Smallholder Famers in the Dry Zone to Climate Variability and Extreme Events in Sri Lanka with UNDP
  • USD49 million for Climate Action and Solar Energy Development Programme in the Tarapacá Region in Chile with CAF 

GCF programmes top USD1.2 Billion, will achieve 14.1M tCO2e emission reductions

Following the funding decisions taken by the Board at its B.13 meeting, the total value of GCF projects and programmes to date has reached above USD1.2 billion. This includes GCF investments of over USD420 million.  The portfolio value will increase to over USD 1.8 billion, including a further USD200 million of GCF funding, conditional upon approval of the next phase of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Energy Efficient Green Bonds in Latin America and the Caribbean programme.
The portfolio of programmes and projects is slated to achieve 14.1 M tCO2e of emission reductions, and benefit 5.7 million people in 25 countries.
Details of the GCF portfolio, including both GCF investments and co-financing, are given in the table below.

GCF funding
(USD million)
(USD million)
Total value
(USD million)
Approved 17 projects and programmes 424 792 1216
Next phases of IDB green bond programme 195 (allocation) 435 630
Total (including next phases) 619 1227 1846

GCF launches Executive Director recruitment process

The Board has launched the process to recruit a new Executive Director for the GCF Secretariat and invites applications for all interested individuals.
Based at the GCF's headquarters in Songdo, Incheon City, Republic of Korea, the Executive Director will lead the Secretariat and rapidly expanding GCF operations in a period of extraordinary momentum and opportunity. The successful candidate will be an experienced professional of the highest calibre, with strong intellectual leadership based on knowledge and experience of climate change, development, and international finance. They will have sound political judgement, excellent strategic and analytical skills, proven effectiveness in communication and advocacy and leadership and management experience within a large organization in an international context. The term of the position is four years, with the possibility of reappointment once. This is a unique opportunity to play a key role in guiding global action on climate change.
The Executive Director, operating under the guidance of the Board, will work to achieve the GCF’s objective by:
  • leading the Secretariat’s efforts in supporting the Board with the continued development and implementation of GCF operational and access modalities and funding structures;
  • establishing and maintaining effective relationships with the GCF’s stakeholders – including partner governments, contributors, recipients, Accredited Entities, the Trustee, the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, observer organizations and other stakeholders – to mobilize resources;
  • leading the development, management and promotion of the GCF portfolio, pipeline and resource planning, including effective work programming for readiness and preparatory support;
  • leading efforts to recruit and retain high-calibre staff for the Fund’s Secretariat, to manage and optimize staff performance, and to foster an inclusive and healthy working environment;
  • leading the Fund’s Secretariat in day-to-day operations, including administration, preparation for meetings of the Board and its committees, panels and groups, developing the work programme and administrative budget, risk management, monitoring and evaluation, establishing effective knowledge management practices and other functions assigned by the Board; and
  • maintaining effective relationships with the Government of the Republic of Korea as the host country of the Secretariat.
An ad hoc committee for the selection of the Executive Director has been established, consisting of eight members from the GCF 24-member governing Board, and is responsible for the entire recruitment process. The committee has selected an executive search firm, Perrett Laver, to assist with the task. The committee will recommend at least three final candidates to the Board for its consideration at the fourteenth meeting in October.  
For more information go to To apply please visit quoting reference number 2640. Applications should consist of a CV and a covering letter illustrating why you are well suited for this role. If you have any questions, you may contact Jordan Williams at
The closing date for all applications is 12:00pm Korean Standard Time (KST) on Friday 12th August 2016.

Mr. Javier Manzanares appointed as Executive Director ad interim from September

In order to ensure a smooth transition, the Board decided at its B.13 meeting that the current Chief Financial Officer and Director of Support Services, Mr. Javier Manzanares, will serve as Executive Director ad Interim from the 9 September and until such time as a permanent Executive Director takes office.

ICLEI meets Green Climate Fund to plan local and regional sustainability cooperation

Local Governments for Sustainability’s (ICLEI) Secretary General Gino Van Begin met with GCF’s Executive Director at the Fund’s headquarters on 17 June to discuss future collaboration on the contribution of cities and regions to building a low-emission, climate-resilient future. 

The meeting allowed the two organizations to discuss how to better connect local government initiatives and projects to international climate finance. The role of cities and sub-national regions is recognised within the Paris Agreement. As an operating entity of the financial mechanism of the Convention that is to serve the Paris Agreement, the Green Climate Fund has a key role in its implementation.

The GCF has invited ICLEI to attend future GCF Board meetings as an observer, to participate in regional workshops for country stakeholders in order to make input into country programming processes. GCF also attended the ICLEI conference Resilient Cities 2016 in Bonn, Germany on 6-8 July.

ICLEI is the leading global network of over 1,500 cities, towns and regions committed to building a sustainable future. Founded in 1990, ICLEI promotes local action for global sustainability.  ICLEI runs over 100 projects and programmes which have been proposed by local cities and regional governments to accelerate climate action.

World Meteorological Organization, Acumen Fund and PROFONANPE formalize relationship with GCF 

Three accredited entities, the World Meteorological Organization, Acumen Fund, and PROFONANPE have formalized their relationship with the Green Climate Fund by signing an Accreditation Master Agreement. The signing of the agreements means that the three bodies can now receive financial resources from GCF.
Acumen Fund is a not-for-profit global investment fund and was the first private sector entity to sign an Accreditation Master Agreement with the Fund. GCF has already approved the first project proposal from Acumen, to invest USD 25 million in companies to increase access to off-grid solar power for poor households in East Africa, initially in Rwanda and Kenya. 

WMO, the United Nations’ authority on the state of the planet’s atmosphere and climate, has become the first UN specialized agency to formalize its relationship with GCF. The signing represents an important milestone for both GCF and the UN system, signaling the role of the Fund in supporting other international organizations advance low-emission and carbon-resilient programmes and projects in developing countries.

PROFONANPE is an environmental fund located in Peru. Its mandate is to provide stable and long-term funding as well as to develop and implement innovative strategies for conservation and management of protected areas. GCF has approved a first project proposal from PROFONANPE, Building the Resilience of Wetlands in the Province of Datem del Marañón.
An Accreditation Master Agreement is the central instrument in the relationship between GCF and an Accredited Entity. It sets out the basic terms and conditions as to how the entity and GCF can work together for the use of GCF resources.  

In total, ten accredited entities who have signed Accreditation Master Agreements: Acumen Fund, WoWMO, Agency for Agricultural Development (ADA) of Morocco, Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), Centre de Suivi Écologique (CSE) of Senegal, and Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) of Namibia, Ministry of Natural Resources of Rwanda (MINIRENA), National Environment Management Authority of Kenya (NEMA), PROFONANPE, and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). Other accredited entities are in the process of finalizing their Accreditation Master Agreements with the Fund.

IPCC Chair visits GCF headquarters, links climate science to climate finance

The Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Mr. Hoesung Lee, visited GCF in May and underscored the urgency in strengthening the connection between the worlds of climate science and climate finance. 

A national of the Republic of Korea, Mr. Lee noted the rapid pace of climate change requires a much sooner than expected reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and that the technology to enable this, at the required scale, remains underdeveloped. Bringing forward greater investments in low-emission technologies is therefore crucial, he added, citing the importance of engaging more closely with the business community, for example, to move promising ideas out of laboratories and into practice.
Mr. Lee highlighted the many possibilities present of linking climate science and climate finance in a bilateral meeting with Ms. Cheikhrouhou, in which he also elaborated on the IPCC’s mandate to provide substantive scientific assessments to decision-makers through its main reports and publications, such as its flagship Assessment Report.
Both Mr. Lee and Ms. Cheikhrouhou agreed there are a number of areas for potential collaboration between IPCC and GCF, as both organizations are mandated to support the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. One potential area of collaboration is to improve climate literacy and science knowledge at the country level to help improve a country’s assessment of the climate action it needs to take and inform low-emission and climate-resilient investments. “GCF wants high impact proposals of paradigm-shifting projects and programmes, and if this requires boosting climate science, then it is an area worth exploring.” Ms. Cheikhrouhou said. Following the meeting, IPCC and GCD have continued dialogue towards concrete partnerships. 

TRIBUTE: Professor Buri Mohammed Hamza of Somalia

The Green Climate Fund is saddened by the tragic loss of the Somali Minister of State for Environment, H.E. Professor Buri Mohammed Hamza who died in a bomb attack in Mogadishu, Somalia, on 26 June 2016.
Professor Hamza was the GCF National Designated Authority for Somalia, a role he held since 2015.
At the opening session of the 13th meeting of the GCF Board, Co-Chairs Zaheer Fakir and Ewen McDonald paid tribute to Professor Hamza, stating: “On behalf of the Green Climate Fund Board and Secretariat, we would like to express our sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Professor Hamza. His death is a great loss to the people of Somalia and to the climate change community globally."

Putting a ‘Spotlight’ on countries

In the lead up to B.13, the Fund launched “GCF Spotlight”, a new communications initiative focused on highlighting the people who represent the institutions that serve as the Fund’s core interface in countries — the National Designated Authority. Through the format, National Designated Authority representatives share insights about their country’s climate action priorities, opportunities, challenges, and reflect on their role. Four countries have been featured to date, with more Spotlights planned later this year. 

Upcoming Events
Pacific Regional Event, 1–4 August

The Government of Australia and the GCF Secretariat are working together to co-host the second Green Climate Fund (GCF) regional meeting in the Pacific. Hosted at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat headquarters in Suva, the gathering will bring together relevant stakeholders to galvanise action on the GCF in the region. The meeting will be led by the Co-Chairs of the GCF Board, Mr. Ewen McDonald (Australia) and Mr. Zaheer Fakir (South Africa).

The workshop will help Pacific island countries in two ways: to build their internal capacity to access GCF funding; and to develop country-driven ideas and concepts into a pipeline of concrete funding proposals for GCF support.

The Co-Chairs will be joined by Pacific ministers, senior government officials and other invited dignitaries, including representatives of Pacific Island country National Designated Authorities (NDAs) and Focal Points, GCF Accredited Entities, delivery partners, civil society and the private sector. The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat is playing an important role in assisting with meeting.

The GCF is already supporting Pacific Island countries to access funding and undertake low-emissions and climate-resilient development. Six Pacific Island countries have a total of US$1.3 million in funding approved through the GCF’s Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme. In addition, the GCF Board has approved a total of US$67 million in funding for projects in Tuvalu and Fiji.

The Pacific will also host the 15th GCF Board meeting in December of 2016. This will be a unique opportunity for Board members to see first-hand the climate needs and opportunities in the Pacific. The ambition is for some of the proposals developed at the Pacific Regional Workshop to be ready for consideration at the December GCF Board meeting in Apia, Samoa.

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