Climate Funds unite to enhance access to climate finance and increase impact

  • Article type News update
  • Publication date 03 Dec 2023

As the urgency to address the impacts of climate change grows, the need for collective action becomes more evident. For the first time ever, the Adaptation Fund, the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) came together at COP28 to elaborate on how their programming contributes towards the Global Stocktake, and on making financial flows available to developing countries in their path to low-emission, climate-resilient development.

In addition to having a joint Climate Funds pavilion at COP28, the four funds held a COP28 side event, “Climate finance: The role of the climate funds in supporting developing countries.” In his welcome remarks, Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) commented on the critical role of multilateral climate funds in delivering on the Paris Agreement goals and driving transformative climate action. He said: “Your collective experience in funding concrete projects and programmes makes you uniquely positioned to promote efforts to better align mobilisation and delivery of resources within the broader system of multilateral institutions.”

Dr. Simon Zadek, the event moderator, facilitated a high-level dialogue with representatives from Brazil, Germany, the United States and China, inviting them to share their vision on how to increase climate finance for greater impact. They also presented their views on the role of multilateral funds in supporting the climate ambitions of developing countries.

Dr. Zadek then invited the heads and senior representatives of the four funds to present how their respective vision and mission mutually reinforce each other, and how building on the complementarity of their policies and programmes can deliver greater coherence in the climate finance architecture. They also shared how harmonising, simplifying processes and sharing successful practices can lead to greater impact.

In presenting GCF’s vision to accelerate delivery and optimise every dollar invested to help the world’s most vulnerable, Mafalda Duarte, GCF Executive Director, laid out a vision that would strengthen GCF to be capable of managing a capitalisation of USD 50 billion by 2030.

On complementarity and coherence, she commented that concrete and ambitious actions, such as agreeing on a common concept of complementarity, avoiding duplication, and working better together are crucial. The four funds are looking into capacity-building initiatives to support developing countries, and to develop more synergies in their programming. “There is ample scope for harmonisation. Harmonising the different processes should drive the simplification of access to climate finance,” said Duarte.

On behalf of Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, GEF CEO and Chairperson, Chizuru Aoki, GEF Lead Environmental Specialist, shared GEF’s experiences about the Long Term Vision on Complementarity, Coherence and Collaboration between GCF and GEF.  Established in 2021, this has resulted in joint investment planning and initiatives, and she cited a recent GEF/GCF programming workshop in Uganda as a tangible example. She also pointed out that philanthropy could play a role in building country capacity to access the Funds in the future.

Mikko Ollikainen, Head of the Adaptation Fund, shared a success example of complementarity between the Adaptation Fund and GCF. “Almost 20 of the Adaptation Fund’s projects have been scaled up by GCF. That is a great win-win in which both funds’ comparative advantages have been made use of - the Adaptation Fund’s ability to pioneer adaptation projects, and the GCF’s ability to scale up,” he said.

Luis Tineo, CIF CEO a.i., reiterated CIF’s full support to more complementarity and coherence among the four funds. “We have to work with our strengths; our capacity to mobilise the private sector and to bring partners together,” he said.

Finally, the representatives of the four funds adopted a joint declaration, ”Enhancing access and increasing impact: the role of the multilateral funds.”

The joint declaration’s highlights are:

  • The multilateral climate funds can contribute to reform of the international climate finance architecture. The funds’ collective experience, innovative approaches and concessionary funding can help other international financial institutions, including the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), to mitigate financial risks, lower investment costs, and scale up access to finance.
  • The funds are committed to develop an ambitious and concrete action plan to enhance access to climate finance and increase the collective impact of their action at COP28.
  • Through this new commitment, the funds will strengthen complementarity and coherence and move towards harmonising procedures to improve and streamline access modalities to finance.
  • The funds will develop a common concept of complementarity and coherence aimed at avoiding duplication of efforts, enhancing collaboration, streamlining processes, and ensuring they work together effectively towards common goals. 

The commitment made by the multilateral climate funds sets the stage for creating common frameworks, sharing best practices, and initiating joint initiatives.