Panellists at the Green Climate Fund (GCF) high-level event at the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in New York recognised the Fund’s critical role in helping developing countries meet their commitments under the Paris Agreement and called for an ambitious GCF replenishment.
The event, titled “Strengthening Synergies: The Role of the Green Climate Fund in Implementing the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda”, brought together a number of political leaders and senior government officials from developing and developed countries, GCF Accredited Entities, as well as representatives from UN agencies, financial institutions, civil society groups, private sector and other global climate finance stakeholders.
GCF Deputy Executive Director Javier Manzanares opened the event by presenting the latest achievements of the Fund, including key results of the 23rd meeting of the GCF Board, such as the approvals for 10 new climate projects and the adoption of new decision-making procedures. He also provided examples of the transformational impact GCF-funded projects have in helping developing countries achieve immense progress across a number of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“GCF will continue to play an increasingly important role in implementing the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda. The investment decisions we make now and over the next few years will determine the world we will live in,” Manzanares said.
UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed welcomed the results of the GCF Board meeting which gives a good impetus for climate action. “The implications of what [GCF has] managed to do was to set the signal for a more efficient delivery of the pipeline of projects that needs to scale up rapidly,” she said.
The UN Deputy Secretary-General reiterated her support for the successful replenishment of GCF and the urgent need to build political momentum. “An unprecedented replenishment of the GCF is important as this is what we need,” she emphasised.
The support for an ambitious and successful GCF replenishment was echoed by all panellists at the event. Ola Elvestuen, Minister of Climate and Environment of Norway, expressed hope that other developed nations will follow his government’s example and double their contributions to the Fund. “GCF is important. As the largest dedicated multilateral fund dedicated to climate change, it is positioned to assist developing countries and bring paradigm shift towards low-carbon and climate-resilient development,” he said.
Patrick Dlamini, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of the Development Bank for Southern Africa, noted that GCF replenishment is needed for developing countries to meet the Paris Agreement goals. “If more and more countries come forward to replenish GCF, we’ll have a much better chance of achieving and successfully implementing the Paris Accord as well as making sure that SDGs are achieved,” he said.
In addition to climate project funding, GCF’s readiness programme, one of the world’s largest capacity building programmes on climate finance, was recognised by panellists as a critical instrument for helping developing countries meet their climate goals. Bambang Brodjonegoro, Minister of National Development Planning of Indonesia, noted that country programme development can help establish synergies between national climate priorities, development strategies, and the GCF investment criteria. Reinforcing support for the GCF Readiness programme, Dr Claudine Uwera, Minister of State in charge of Economic Planning of Rwanda, shared her country’s experience in strengthening its national climate finance capacity.
Representatives from the private sector and financial institutions recognised GCF’s financial innovation and risk appetite, which enables private investments and is crucial for the long-term success of projects.
Jacqueline Novogratz, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Acumen, told panellists that for every dollar that GCF-supported Kawisafi fund invests in Kenya and Rwanda, they have seen another 7-10 dollars in terms of additional capital. “We think that not only does GCF have an opportunity to create an impact on the ground but also to change the narrative around how the public sector can work with the private sector and the civil society to solve some of our biggest problems,” she explained.
Rémy Rioux, Chairperson of the International Development Finance Club (IDFC), with which GCF recently signed a partnership agreement, echoed the support for GCF replenishment. “GCF is the main and only multilateral fund that is open to us. It is a place of innovation because of its flexibility. It has capacity that is very unique. IDFC members are the strongest advocate for the Fund and we hope for strongest possible replenishment,” he said.
Josué Tanaka, Managing Director for Operational Strategy and Planning, Energy Efficiency and Climate Change at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) also stressed the crucial role GCF plays in scaling up climate finance. “GCF is particularly important because it allows us to work on policies that over time will allow us to move forward without the need for extreme blending and instruments that are very complex,” he added.
The Fund will be hosting a second replenishment consultation meeting with its contributors and stakeholders in Canada at the end of August followed by a Replenishment Pledging Conference later in the year.