ED’s remarks at Interactive Dialogue - Access to Climate Finance: Building on the Outcomes of UNFCCC COP 28

  • Event
    4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS4), St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda
  • Publication date 29 May 2024

We know that the needs of the SIDS are much higher than the support that they are receiving right now and how, whether the modalities are really tailored to the specificities of SIDS.

But one of the, having said that, one of my observations was actually GCF is a great partner, is being a solid partner in SIDS.

Because according to the data that I have seen, in a relatively small number of years, we have committed USD 1.6 billion dollars to SIDS.

And across the Pacific, Caribbean and African and Indian Ocean.

And not just that, we constantly hear about capacity, the limited capacity of SIDS.

In the context of the Readiness Programme that GCF has, which is really dedicated to helping actually build their capacity and enhance their policy and strategies, since they've actually received one third of the resources, more than USD 200 million dollars in grant resources.

And I also hear in these discussions the issue of the difficulty that the upper income SIDS, high income or upper middle income SIDS, have in accessing concessional finance.

There again, just to say that mechanisms such as GCF, we don't have those limitations.

These countries can also access on the basis of their vulnerability.

As a matter of fact, as per the mandate of the Board of GCF, not only is GCF expected to attribute half of its resources to adaptation, but when it comes to adaptation, to prioritize the most vulnerable.

In particular, SIDS.

And so that is quite interesting.

It was very interesting for me to see.

An additional point that has been quite interesting for me to see, and the reason why I'm saying that is interesting for me to see, just to disclose that I'm a newly appointed Executive Director, so I didn't have anything to do with these numbers that I'm talking to you about.

Also, I can't take any credit for it, but I have observed this and this is what we have in our portfolio.

The issue of grant resources is another one that we also hear constantly.

And the availability of grant resources in the Green Climate Fund is quite significant.

And the Green Climate Fund actually works with more than 40 national entities.

So providing access, again this is another topic that we hear about, working with national institutions, empowering national institutions, and the Green Climate Fund works directly in SIDS with more than 40.

And examples here in this region, the Development Bank of Jamaica, Development Bank of Fiji, and several others.

And we are also working with countries like Barbados, for example, on establishing new financial institutions that can cater for the needs of the population.

So the Blue Green Bank of Barbados is another very good example.

Is this enough?


Do we have the right modalities in place in terms of simplification of access?


Interestingly enough, in my own observation, we established a lot of groups and task forces to look at different topics.

And maybe we need to think of some sort of task force that actually looks in detail at this issue of simplification of access.

What does it actually mean and what is it that it actually means for SIDS?

And what is it that we are willing to compromise in terms of the requirements and the processes that states have put in place?

Because we have to remember that states are the things that put in place these requirements in the different institutions.

What is it that we are willing to let go or compromise in the benefit of simplification and having tailored modalities?

So we recognise this, I recognise this.

I have said in other events even this week, the issue of simplification of access is a systemic issue.

It's not an issue of one institution alone.

It's an issue that is pervasive across many financial institutions and we need to look at this critically and take ownership.

Because at the end of the day, these institutions are governed by states as well.

We are committed, I came in and just to say I had a few more questions in this conversation, but just to say that it is a pleasure to be here with you.

We are hearing your concerns and frustrations in terms of access and the simplification of access.

And we want to work with you and gather key stakeholders in addressing them in a very short period of time.

Thank you.