Key meeting in Songdo paves the way for GCF to boost climate financing in 2016

The Green Climate Fund adopted pivotal decisions to pursue the goal of approving USD 2.5 billion in funding proposals by the end of 2016, according to an official note released on Friday (March 11) after the GCF Board’s twelfth meeting in Songdo, South Korea.

The meeting was anticipated as an important date to resolve operational issues and gaps of the Fund, established in 2010 and having reached the actual capacity to fund climate-related projects in May 2015.

In November 2015 the GCF approved the first eight projects to be financed, for a total GCF investment of USD 168 million.

GCF Board members and delegates from 37 countries agreed on a series of resolutions of which the most important concern the adoption of the Fund’s first Strategic Plan, the Work Plan for 2016, and the accreditation of new entities to finance projects and programmes.

The Strategic Plan sets out GCF’s vision, operational priorities, and an action plan to be implemented by 2018.

In 2016 the Fund plans to fund 22 projects and programmes worth USD 5.4 billion, of which the total GCF funding amounts to USD 1.5 billion. The funding proposals come from Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and, in smaller numbers, Eastern Europe. They include renewable energy projects, agriculture resilience, water infrastructure, land use and forestry management.

The Fund also expanded the pool of accredited entities, those international, national and smaller institutions, both public and private, that can develop and submit funding proposals to the GCF and are appointed to overseeing the management and implementation of the projects financed. In addition to the 20 entities currently accredited to GCF (as of the end of February 2016), other 13 new entities passed the accreditation step at the board meeting.

Other relevant developments in Songdo included the approval of USD 1.5 million grant to Rwanda under the Fund’s Project Preparation Facility (PPF, an instrument to support accredited entities from developing countries to submit projects in line with GCF standards and criteria), further steps to expedite the disbursement of USD 11.2 million under grant agreements already signed with 13 countries, the launch of the recruitment process for the new Executive Director, as Héla Cheikhrouhou, the current GCF chief, recently announced she will step down in September 2016 at the end of her three-years term.

As of February 2016, the Green Climate Fund has raised around USD 10 billion in pledges from 42 state governments, of which around USD 7 billion are certified by the sign of respective contribution arrangements.

During the meeting in Songdo, the United States formalized its pledge of USD 3 billion and announced it completed arrangements to transfer USD 500 million to the GCF as its first installment on the pledge.

 

(Image: GCF Board’s members at the Twelfth Meeting of the Board. On the right side, seated, GCF Co-Chairs Zaheer Fakir (South Africa) and Ewen McDonald (Australia). Songdo, South Korea, March 2016. Photo credit: Green Climate Fund)