GCF launches Simplified Approvals Process for faster, simpler approval of small-scale projects

GCF launches its Simplified Approvals Process (SAP) to unlock the power of local climate action, enacting a decision made by the GCF Board last month.

  • Article type Press release
  • Publication date 11 Nov 2017

The Green Climate Fund today announced the launch of its Simplified Approvals Process (SAP) to unlock the power of local climate action, enacting a decision made by the GCF Board last month. The new process streamlines and simplifies applications for certain small-scale projects of up to USD 10 million in GCF funding, and is particularly aimed at supporting project proposals from Direct Access Entities.

“I have long championed the need for the Green Climate Fund to simplify access to its resources for smaller-scale projects, as called for in the Fund’s Governing Instrument,” said Samoa’s Ambassador Aliioaiga Feturi Elisaia, representing Small Island Developing States (SIDS) on the GCF Board. “I am grateful to my Board colleagues and the GCF Secretariat for their confidence and support in turning this into a reality,” he said at ‘Direct Access Day’ held at the 23rd UNFCCC Conference of the Parties in Bonn where the operationalization of the SAP was announced.

GCF has made significant progress over the past year in building a project portfolio that is now worth USD 2.65 billion in GCF resources, with projects of over USD 600 million already being implemented. However, the Simplified Approval Process is a recognition that more needs to be done to facilitate fast approval of smaller projects, especially from Direct Access Entities.

The SAP requires less documentation for proposals, and streamlines the review and approval process, making it easier and quicker to access GCF resources for mitigation and adaptation action.

The new application process is aimed at projects that meet three conditions:

  1. ready for scaling-up, with a potential for transformation
  2. requiring a GCF contribution of under USD 10 million
  3. having minimal environmental and social (ESS) risks and impacts.

Under the Board decision, the GCF Secretariat will take action to ensure that 50 percent of GCF resources under the SAP will be targeted at Direct Access Entities.

Both Accredited Entities (AEs), and National Designated Authorities (NDAs) are invited to submit concept notes to the Fund under the SAP. All interested stakeholders are invited to partner with AEs or NDAs to bring suitable projects for submission.

Details on the Simplified Approval Process, including the GCF Board decision, the application form, and ESS guidelines, are available on a dedicated SAP webpage which is accessible here.

For specific information about the Simplified Approval Process, please contact GCF.

GCF’s Simplified Approval Process was launched at the 23rd UNFCCC Conference of the Parties in Bonn, under the auspices of H.E. Frank Bainimarama, COP 23 President, and Patricia Espinosa, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, in the presence of GCF Board members Zaheer Fakir (South Africa) and Amb. Feturi (Samoa), as well as of Gustavo Alberto Fonseca, Director of Programs, Global Environment Facility, Mikko Ollikainen, Manager, Adaptation Fund, and Howard Bamsey, Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund.

“The launch of the Simplified Approval Process is a step forward that will greatly help many countries, including my own constituency of Small Island Developing States, Ambassador Feturi said. “The SAP will quickly secure GCF funding without compromising the integrity of the Fund’s approval process.”