The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has signed an implementation agreement to scale up climate action across 13 African countries soon after the new funding programme was approved by the GCF Board.
The programme, implemented by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), empowers African national and local banks to direct funds to help farmers cope with increasingly erratic climate effects while also reducing farming emissions.
During a virtual signing ceremony the day after GCF’s latest Board meeting, which decide on climate finance funding proposals, GCF Executive Director Yannick Glemarec said the agreement reflected a continuing time contraction between funding agreement and implementation.
“GCF continues to build on the speed that projects are brought to the Board for approval, and in moving those approved projects to disbursement,” he said. “The need to increase both the speed and amount of climate finance flows to developing countries is increasingly evident. We have a shrinking window of opportunity to avoid catastrophic climate change.”
The GCF Board meeting, which wound up on Thursday last week, approved USD 114.4 million in new GCF investment to the Inclusive Green Financing Initiative (IGREENFIN I). This programme helps protect some of the world’s most vulnerable smallholder farmers from climate effects while also contributing to Africa’s Great Green Wall initiative to reverse land degradation. The funding will also support a regional programme to enhance coordination, knowledge management and innovation in Great Green Wall countries implemented in collaboration with the United Nations to Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Pan African Agency of the GGW.
Burkina Faso’s Minister of Agriculture, Environment, and Agricultural Research, Innocent Kiba, highlighted the urgency of taking climate action in explaining why his country has joined the IGREENFIN 1 programme. All countries need to continue raising their climate ambitions irrespective of the other crises facing the world today, he said.
IFAD’s Associate Vice President, Strategy and Knowledge Department Jyotsna Puri said the way this programme supports the greening of Africa’s financial sector has the potential to nurture similar climate strategies across Africa.
“Such innovation in new business models helps us to think far more about how we can mobilise climate finance, and accelerate the adoption of climate adaptation,” she said. “This will help jump start a nascent climate-resilient and low-emission market that is currently far from reaching its potential in the region.”
Also taking part in the signing ceremony were Apex Bank of Ghana CEO Alex Awuah, Banque Agricole of Senegal CEO Malick Ndiaye; and GCF’s National Designated Authority representative in Mali Amidou Goita.
Following GCF’s 31st Board meeting last week, the portfolio of the world ‘s largest dedicated fund supporting developing country climate action now stands at 10.2 billion See here for more details.