GCF ensures that the climate finance it allocates does not harm local communities or ecosystems. GCF standards include equitably managing environmental and social risks in relation to its activities, as well as implementing an Indigenous People’s Policy to reflect the importance of fully and effectively engaging with indigenous peoples in the design, development and implementation of the strategies and activities to be financed by GCF, while respecting their rights.
GCF is also the first climate finance mechanism to mainstream gender perspectives from the outset of its operations as an essential decision-making element for the deployment of its resources.
A number of independent units have been set up as third-party guarantors of ethical GCF practice. When allegations of environmental and social harm are raised in association with GCF activities, it is possible for affected parties to contact one of these units, the Independent Redress Mechanism (IRM). The IRM operates outside of the GCF Secretariat and reports directly to the GCF Board, which oversees GCF management. The IRM responds to complaints by people who feel they have been adversely affected, or may be affected, by GCF projects or programmes, including issues related to GCF's environmental and social safeguards. The IRM helps project-affected people by facilitating dispute resolution processes to seek joint solutions, or by conducting independent compliance investigations and recommending redress where appropriate.
Complainants can approach the IRM confidentially if necessary. All GCF-financed activities, including those affecting Indigenous Peoples, are required to establish a grievance redress mechanism at the project level to address any projectrelated concerns, in consultation with the affected or potentially affected communities.