There is a shrinking window of opportunity to address the climate crisis. Average global temperature is currently estimated to be 1.1°C above pre-industrial times. Based on existing trends, the world could cross the 1.5°C threshold within the next two decades and 2°C threshold early during the second half of the century. Limiting global warming to 1.5°C is still narrowly possible and will be determined by the investment decisions we make over the next decade. The Green Climate Fund (GCF) – a critical element of the historic Paris Agreement - is the world’s largest climate fund, mandated to support developing countries raise and realize their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) ambitions towards low-emissions, climate-resilient pathways.
Our transformative approach
We achieve our goal by investing across four transitions – built environment; energy & industry; human security, livelihoods and wellbeing; and land-use, forests and ecosystems – and employing a four-pronged approach:
- Transformational planning and programming: by promoting integrated strategies, planning and policymaking to maximise the co-benefits between mitigation, adaptation and sustainable development.
- Catalysing climate innovation: by investing in new technologies, business models, and practices to establish a proof of concept.
- De-risking investment to mobilize finance at scale: by using scarce public resources to improve the risk-reward profile of low emission climate resilient investment and crowd-in private finance, notably for adaptation, nature-based solutions, least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing states (SIDS).
- Mainstreaming climate risks and opportunities into investment decision-making to align finance with sustainable development: by promoting methodologies, standards and practices that foster new norms and values.
Climate change offers businesses an unprecedented chance to capitalise on new growth and investment opportunities that can protect the planet as well. GCF employs part of its funds to help mobilise financial flows from the private sector to compelling and profitable climate-smart investment opportunities.
A core GCF principle is to follow a country-driven approach, which means that developing countries lead GCF programming and implementation. Country ownership of GCF financing decisions enables developing countries to turn NDC ambitions into climate action. GCF’s country-driven approach is underpinned by capacity-building support through its Readiness Programme that is available to all developing countries.
An open, partnership organization
GCF operates through a network of over 200 Accredited Entities and delivery partners who work directly with developing countries for project design and implementation. Our partners include international and national commercial banks, multilateral, regional and national development finance institutions, equity funds institutions, United Nations agencies, and civil society organizations. This open partnership enables the Fund to foster unprecedented coalitions between private investors, development agencies and civil society organizations to achieve transformative change and support harmonization of standards and practices.
A range of financing instruments
GCF can structure its financial support through a flexible combination of grant, concessional debt, guarantees or equity instruments to leverage blended finance and crowd-in private investment for climate action in developing countries. This flexibility enables the Fund to pilot new financial structures to support green market creation.
GCF is mandated to invest 50% of its resources to mitigation and 50% to adaptation in grant equivalent. At least half of its adaptation resources must be invested in the most climate vulnerable countries (SIDS, LDCs, and African States). The GCF programming strategy recognizes that we must scale up both mitigation and adaptation efforts. GCF aims to leverage synergies and minimize potential trade-offs between adaptation and mitigation.
Risk-taking, patient capital
GCF adds value to its partners by enabling them to raise the ambition of their climate action. By leveraging the risk management capacity of our partners and our own set of investment, risk and results management frameworks, GCF can accept higher risks to support early-stage project development as well as policy, institutional, technological and financial innovation to catalyse climate finance. This capacity to take risk is backed up by a robust second level due diligence system.