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October 2015 (Issue 3)

GCF Dispatch

A Roundup of News from the Green Climate Fund
October 2015 – Issue 3

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

Executive Viewpoint – History in the Making

This past September was a historic month for international development cooperation. The UN Sustainable Development Summit and subsequent adoption of the post-2015 development agenda, with its 17 global goals, represented a significant milestone in putting people and the planet on a path to sustainability. The 2030 agenda provides a universal, integrated, and transformative vision for a better world. Part of this vision includes activating an unprecedented response to climate change, as captured in Goal 13.

The necessity to spur climate action was a common theme in the speeches delivered by the heads of state and representatives of government at the three-day summit and during the opening debate of the 70th General Assembly. Many leaders underlined the effects of global warming, from rising sea levels to an increase in erratic weather events, and several reiterated the need for international solidarity, including through contributions to the Green Climate Fund. Their remarks also highlighted the importance of countries reaching a climate deal at the upcoming Conference of the Parties in Paris.
In my interactions over the past months I, too, have expressed this sentiment, suggesting that the Universal Climate Agreement can signal what new and additional climate financing will be made available in the years ahead. This is the message I delivered in recent bilaterals, including with the President of France, and at key fora, such as the Climate Finance Ministerial convened on the occasion of the Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

At the latter, which was held two weeks ago in Lima, I underscored the need for funding through the Financial Mechanism of the Convention to be predictable and significant enough to contribute to the implementation of a Paris agreement and to the objective of keeping global warming to below two degrees Celsius. I made this statement because, although governments have pledged to mobilize significantly more funding to reach the agreed USD 100 billion in new resources per year by 2020, the current level of USD 1.5 billion per year of GCF’s commitment capacity is far from the levels required to deliver on its mandate to support low-emission and climate-resilient investments in developing countries and contribute to climate action.
A timely and strong endorsement of the Fund came in the form of a joint press statement by the European Council and the Republic of Korea on the occasion of a bilateral summit in mid-September. The statement affirmed both parties’ ambition to make GCF the main operating entity of the financial mechanism of the Post-2020 climate period. The European Parliament reiterated this goal and stated “it will push to limit temperature increase to 2°C and to raise money for the Green Climate Fund. By 2020 the fund should make $100 billion available each year to help developing countries adapt to climate change.”

Operations Update

Early Portfolio Development

Turning to the Fund itself, our next Board meeting in early November will see financing decisions on the Fund’s first project proposals. This will be a symbolic moment, sending a strong signal that GCF is fully operational and that developing countries are starting to access the Fund’s support for their priority projects.  

Since July 2015, the Fund received a total of 37 initial funding proposals for projects and programmes from public and private sector entities, eight of which have been submitted to the GCF Board for its consideration, after review by the Fund’s independent Technical Advisory Panel, which took place at GCF Headquarters in September.
The proposals cover a range of funding themes, including water access, disaster risk management, land use management, energy efficiency, and small-scale renewables. They come from various types of entities, including those at the national, regional, and international levels. Three proposals were submitted by direct access entities and five through international access entities. More than 80 per cent of the projects are located in least developed countries (LDCs), small island developing states (SIDS), and African states.

We are confident this will have a positive impact on what we hope will be a successful outcome in Paris, a historic agreement to reinforce the global goals of the 2030 agenda.

Expanding Our Network

The Fund is moving quickly to scale up operations to support countries effectively and efficiently. An instrumental element in this regard is expanding our network of NDAs and focal points. To date, 136 countries have NDAs or focal points in governments to liaise with the Fund. At the same time, the network of institutions through which GCF will channel its resources to countries is equally growing, with 20 entities already accredited and many more at various stages in the accreditation process. The Board will review nine new accreditation requests at the forthcoming meeting. These include national, regional, international, public, and private entities.
Rolling Out Readiness Support

Eighty-seven countries have requested preparatory support, or readiness funding, to enhance and build their capacity to access GCF resources, with an additional 20 countries expected to submit a request by the time the UN Climate Change Conference opens on 30 November. USD 4.6 million has already been committed to the NDAs or focal points of 17 countries. In addition, readiness support has been allocated to seven national or regional entities seeking accreditation. The Fund is also working on several pilot programmes with a total budget of USD 900 million to enhance direct access to countries, support small- and medium-sized enterprises, and mobilize funding at scale from the private sector.

Regional Workshops Continue

The Fund is continuing its series of regional workshops that aim to increase understanding of GCF processes among NDAs and focal points, as well as to create a platform for the exchange of best practices among stakeholders. The latest workshops were convened in early October, in Belize for the Caribbean region. Four other regional workshops have been held so far in 2015, covering Africa and the Middle East, Asia, Central America, and the Pacific, and involving some 300 participants.
Based on the positive feedback received and ongoing interest from countries, the Fund will plan to organize such workshops in the future. The next GCF regional workshop is scheduled to take place early next year and will target NDAs and focal points in South America.

Bonn – Livingstone

Country negotiators are meeting this week in Bonn to continue deliberations on reaching a new climate agreement. The 11th part of the second session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) is being held from 19 to 23 October, and the ADP Co-chairs invited the Fund to convene a briefing to delegates on GCF’s upcoming Board meeting. The 11th Meeting of the GCF Board will be held from 2 to 5 November in Livingstone, Zambia. The meeting’s provisional agenda and documents are available online.

Latest on Contributions

As reported in GCF’s previous Dispatch, USD 5.8 billion equivalent have been signed in contributions, representing close to 60 per cent of the USD 10 billion equivalent that GCF received in pledges in 2014 (no change since the last update). Efforts continue to convert the remaining promises – over USD 4 billion – into contribution agreements. It is important that all pledges are signed by COP 21. For more information, consult the Fund’s online pledge tracker. The Fund continues to welcome any new pledges in the run-up to Paris.

Last but not least... GCF in the News

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