Bonn side event links climate ambition to GCF replenishment

  • Article type Press release
  • Publication date 24 Jun 2019

A Green Climate Fund (GCF) side event during the current Bonn climate talks has emphasised the link between NDC implementation and replenishment. Developing country representatives highlighted the role of GCF in realising the existing National Determined Contributions (NDCs), as well as in supporting greater ambition as NDCs are revised next year.

Climate finance is critical to the Paris Agreement, with the majority of developing country NDC commitments being conditional upon access to international climate resources. The replenishment of GCF this year provides the opportunity to support the higher levels of NDC ambition that will be needed to respond to the climate crisis.

Opening the event in the margins of the SB50 climate negotiations, GCF Executive Director Yannick Glemarec emphasised the urgent need to act: "We have very little time to ensure that we do not cross the 2C threshold and to make every possible effort not to cross the 1.5C threshold."

Glemarec stressed the key role of GCF, stating, "At least 80 percent of NDCs are conditional. The replenishment of GCF is key to ensuring the finance required by developing countries to raise and realise their climate ambitions."

Ambassador Mohamed Nasr, Chair of the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change, spoke of the expectations of African states towards GCF. "The GCF is a successful fund. It can deliver more, we are fully sure of that. With the current rate of progress we can achieve the expectations of the whole international community."

Nasr, who is Minister Plenipotentiary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Egypt, also described how the partnership between Egypt and GCF is bearing fruit with both mitigation and adaptation projects being implemented in the country, allowing the government to adopt more ambitious climate targets.

H.E. Janine Felson, Ambassador to the Permanent Mission of Belize to the United Nations, addressed the specific challenges faced by SIDS as a result of their small size and limited capacity. Highlighting these factors as contributing to their need for financial support, she stated: "but for GCF and its commitment to a floor of adaptation funding accessible by SIDS, we wouldn’t have the opportunity to access climate finance."

Felson then described how the recently adopted GCF project "Resilient Rural Belize" (being delivered with IFAD) is a key part of the country’s sustainable development strategy, as well as the importance of having a regional direct access entity - the Caribbean Community Centre for Climate Change - that can support Belize and across the Caribbean.

Tenzin Wangmo, Lead Negotiator for the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group, and Chief Environment Officer, National Environment Commission, Royal Government of Bhutan, outlined the innovations within the Bhutan for Life project (being delivered with WWF), which is helping to protect the 52 percent of forested land within the mountainous country through an innovative sinking fund that will allow the government to develop sources of finance to safeguard long-term sustainability.

Wangmo stated that from the perspective of Bhutan and other LDCs, the climate finance needs remain acute: "We are really looking to GCF to provide the resources to implement the NDCs."

H.E. Lorena Aguilar Revelo, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, provided an overview of Costa Rica’s climate strategy, and how GCF support will help to execute it: "GCF is fundamental for us. GCF’s approach should be linked to supporting longer-term climate strategy and to country programmes."

GCF is currently undertaking its first replenishment. A series of contributor consultation meetings will be followed by the UN Climate Summit in September, and then a pledging conference later in the year.