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May 2015 (Issue 1)

GCF Dispatch

A roundup of news from the Green Climate Fund
May 2015 – Edition 1

The Green Climate Fund is pleased to share its first GCF Dispatch, a short compilation of news related to the development of the Fund. This roundup will be published periodically to keep all 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 – GCF on the path to Paris

In just seven months, the international community will gather in Paris for the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21). Expectations for a credible and ambitious Universal Climate Agreement (UCA) could not be higher—and rightfully so when we consider what is at stake.
As the operating entity under the financial mechanism of UNFCCC, the Fund has a central role to play in mobilizing and channeling the financial resources required to enable a paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient pathways in developing countries, to achieve the goal of keeping a global temperature rise under 2 degrees Celsius.
GCF is a key indicator for new climate finance resources, making them visible and possible to track. The Paris Agreement is a test for governments to deliver on their vision to establish GCF as the primary global investment vehicle on climate finance under the UNFCCC. Climate finance and the Green Climate Fund are a decisive building block of the UCA, and the success of the Fund is an incentive for the outcome of the Paris agreement.
At the recent Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and IMF in Washington DC, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon echoed this sentiment by reminding Ministers of Finance of the importance of operationalizing the Green Climate Fund. He underlined that the USD 10 billion mobilized as an initial capitalization of the Fund is a first step, following which there is a need for a clear pathway on how the Green Climate Fund’s resources will grow until 2020 and beyond.
Looking ahead to Paris, one objective of GCF is to ensure that our first projects are considered by the Board ahead of the conference, specifically that we can successfully allocate some of the funding for our initial activities. This will give added credibility to the Fund, reassure both contributing and recipient countries that we are on track. Ultimately, GCF can give the Paris Agreement the required gravitas to help unlock further investment into low emission technologies and climate resilience in developing countries. 

Mobilizing Resources

Total pledges made to GCF in 2014 account for close to USD 10.2 billion equivalent and are currently being converted into documented agreements. As of 8 May 2015, approximately USD 4 billion equivalent has been signed up with the Fund, approximately 42% of the pledges made. An online pledge tracker is regularly updated and shared with partners, including through social media.
The goal of having 50% of pledges converted into contribution agreements by 30 April 2015 has not been met. In order to enable the Board to start allocating resources to projects and programmes, the Fund needs to urgently reach effectiveness; it is working expeditiously with all contributing countries to finalize their respective agreement.

Progress on Operations

Country readiness efforts are advancing well with 122 National Designated Authority and Focal Point (NDA/FP) designations received to date. The Fund’s first grant agreement for readiness was signed with Mali on 10 April, and readiness proposals and grant agreements are progressing for the Dominican Republic, Ethiopia and Rwanda. 
The accreditation of seven entities at the ninth Board meeting represented a significant milestone for GCF. An overview of the accredited entities is now available online, providing a snapshot of their accreditation type, conditions for accreditation, and contact information.
Applications for accreditation continue on an ongoing basis through the Fund’s online accreditation system. GCF is reviewing a new round of entities to be presented to the Board for its consideration at its tenth meeting in July. A total of 42 additional entities have submitted applications for accreditation, including national, regional, international, public, private and non-governmental organizations.
The Fund is currently establishing an independent Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) to assess GCF funding proposals. A beta version of the funding proposal template has been published on the Fund’s website for use of GCF’s accredited entities and NDAs.

Update on Governance

The GCF Board held its ninth meeting in Songdo from 24 to 26 March 2015 — the first time the Board convened at the Fund’s Headquarters offices in South Korea. The March meeting was crucial as Board members agreed on a range of operational decisions, including the accreditation of the first batch of entities that will channel Fund resources into developing countries. The Board also adopted decisions related to key operational policies, such as the modalities of the initial investment framework, the financial terms and conditions of the Fund’s instruments, and a gender policy and action plan. A comprehensive summary of the decisions of the ninth meeting is available online
The tenth meeting of the Board will be held in Songdo from 6 to 9 July 2015, and documentation for the meeting will be published on the GCF website in June. Registration will be open from 25 May to 29 June 2015. New organizations that wish to be accredited to the Fund as observers are requested to submit their observer accreditation request before 29 May 2015. 

Behind the Fund

On the occasion of the ninth Board meeting, GCF prepared a booklet to introduce the people working at the Fund. “Meet the People behind the Fund” presents an overview of the Fund’s staff, showcasing colleagues’ diversity and range of talent and expertise. 
The Fund is actively looking for additional staff to fill some 10+ vacancies. Applications by women and candidates from developing countries are strongly encouraged. For the latest available opportunities, please visit GCF’s vacancies page.  

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