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Global Context

4degrees celsius

The impact of human-induced climate change we see today on planet earth is unprecedented.

Long-term changes in the earth’s climate system have been significant and are occurring more rapidly than in the past. Continued emissions into the earth’s atmosphere are projected to cause further warming and increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive, and irreversible effects on every continent. In addition, climate change has a disproportionately stronger impact on the lives and livelihoods of those societies which depend on the natural environment for their day-to-day needs.

one singular challenge

2degrees celsius

The science reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is irrefutable.

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are continuing to rise, making the globally agreed target of keeping atmospheric temperature increase below 2°C more and more difficult to achieve. According to the IPCC, the current trajectory of GHG emissions rates will cause global temperatures to increase by 4°C by the end of this century.

one united response

100 billion

Responding to this challenge requires collective action from all countries – by actors in both the public and private sectors.

Among these concerted efforts, advanced economies have formally agreed to jointly mobilize USD 100 billion per year by 2020, from a variety of sources, to address the pressing mitigation and adaptation needs of developing countries. Governments also agreed that a share of new multilateral funding should be channeled through the newly established Green Climate Fund.

the gcf mission

The GCF mission is to expand collective human action to respond to climate change.
The Fund aims to mobilize funding at scale to invest in low-emission and climate-resilient development on our home planet.

Created by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Fund aims to support a paradigm shift in the global response to climate change. It allocates its resources to low-emission and climate-resilient projects and programmes in developing countries. The Fund pays particular attention to the needs of societies that are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, in particular Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and African States.

The Green Climate Fund was established by 194 countries party to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2010. It is designed as an operating entity of the Convention’s financial mechanism and is headquartered in the Republic of Korea. It is governed by a 24 Board member Board, representing countries, and receives guidance from the Conference of the Parties to the Convention (COP).

features & timeline

GCF features

  • Initial resource mobilization has raised more than USD 10 billion and is ongoing.
  • Commitment to aim for 50:50 balance between mitigation and adaptation investments over time.
  • At least 50% of adaptation funding goes to the most vulnerable countries, including LDCs, SIDS, and African States.
  • Direct private sector engagement in transformational climate-sensitive investments through the Private Sector Facility (PSF).
  • Risk-bearing capacity, allowing the Fund to support innovation and leverage and crowd in additional financing.
  • Variety of financial instruments available, including grants, concessional loans, subordinated debt, equity, and guarantees, giving flexibility to match project needs.
  • Balanced governance structure that ensures consensus-based decisions between 12 developed and 12 developing countries.


  • 2009The Green Climate Fund first proposed at COP 15 in Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2010GCF established by the United Nations at COP 16 in Cancun, Mexico
  • 2011Governing Instrument adopted at COP 17 in Durban, South Africa
  • 2012Board meets for first time, with equally balanced country representation
  • 2013Permanent headquarters established in Songdo, Republic of Korea
  • 2014Initial resource mobilization raises over USD 10 billion equivalent
  • 2015First GCF funding decisions taken before historic Paris Agreement