"GCF has a huge role to play"
Speech delivered by GCF Deputy Executive Director Javier Manzanares at the 2018 Structured Dialogue with the Pacific.
I am very honored to attend this Pacific Structured Dialogue meeting here in Pohnpei, and very happy that we have such a strong audience of representatives from the region as we chart a path for resilient and low-emission transformation for the Pacific. I would also like to thank the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia for their kind hosting of this event.
The Green Climate Fund is the largest international climate fund helping developing countries respond to challenge of climate change. Our role is to support countries to reach their climate ambitions, particularly their NDC commitments under the Paris Agreement.
I am sure that many of you are aware that it has been a tough few weeks for GCF.
The last Board meeting was dominated by difficult discussions about governance, and as a result the Board was not able to consider new project proposals, or applications from organisations seeking to become Accredited Entities, or to move ahead with new policies. Then the meeting ended with the announcement of the resignation of Howard Bamsey, our Executive Director.
Let me be clear: this has been somewhat of a setback for the Fund. But GCF still has a huge role to play, and we are already delivering.
Mobilising climate finance is a critical part of the Paris Agreement, and the Green Climate Fund is an essential channel for its delivery:
- We have the climate focus, the commitment to country ownership and direct access, and the ability to leverage finance from private and public sectors.
- We also have the flexibility to make grants for small-scale resilience projects, the muscle to catalyse green energy markets with concessional loans, and the innovation to invest equity through transformative programmes.
- We can channel a significant share of the USD 100 billion per year of climate finance that needs to be mobilised. And we can leverage our resources to help change the direction of global financial flows towards climate resilient, low emissions investments.
The Board certainly has challenges that it needs to overcome. But let's put the last meeting's challenge in perspective:
- Only a few months ago, the same Board approved over USD 1 billion of investment across 23 new projects for climate action - including a coastal protection programme for the Marshall Islands.
- Although we are a young fund, we have 31 projects that are already under implementation, worth USD 1.4 billion in investment from GCF.
- We have more than 70 projects in our portfolio, amounting to over USD 3.5 billion in financing from GCF to support developing countries in their low emission, climate resilient development.
We are already delivering.
Ladies and gentlemen, being here in Pohnpei reminds me that for all the governance challenges we face, the real business of GCF is here to provide hope to the most vulnerable - and Pacific island countries like the Federated States of Micronesia are amongst the most at threat from climate change.
Despite being some of the world's smallest greenhouse gas emitters, Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are forecast to be hit hard by climate change, not least because of their sensitivity to the rise of sea levels and sea temperatures.
GCF is working with you as you face this real and growing threat.
Being here today at the Structured Dialogue, we heard some of the key items that were discussed by Pacific leaders and GCF partners.
The Pacific Islands as a region is performing well in terms of access to resources from the GCF. We have eight projects in the Pacific to date, amounting to nearly USD 300 million in GCF resources. They cover some of the biggest challenges confronting the region.
There is already a strong level of country ownership in the Pacific. This has been demonstrated through the work that has commenced on the development of country programmes, leadership on implementation, accreditation of national entities, and engagement with the private sector.
There is a need for a strong connection of national development plans with climate change priorities. The NDAs have a critical role to play in this.
There was strong appreciation for the valuable work of Ambassador Feturi over the last few years in representing the region on the GCF Board, and a recognition of the need for the Pacific to ensure that voice continues to be representated on the Board.
Countries also highlighted the desire to establish regional presence that will bring GCF closer to the Pacific Islands.
We have only just concluded a conversation on synergies on climate finance and I have taken note of what countries have suggested as ways to enhance coordination at the national level, the opportunities and challenges that exist and what GCF can do to address these challenges. We look forward to taking this conversation forward.
I'm sure we will discuss many more potential projects that can support the Pacific over the coming days.
Ladies and gentlemen, Pacific islands such as the Federated States of Micronesia are at the front line of the fight against climate change. We at GCF are ready to play our role, and to join together with you to make the transformative changes we need for Micronesia, for the Pacific, and for the world.