Green Climate Fund (GCF)

Green Climate Fund (GCF): Key issues at the meeting in Zambia

Will the GCF live up to its promises?
Photo: Rural electrification photo by Girard Knut-Erik Helle (CC BY-NC)

The Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) is convening this week in Livingstone, Zambia for its 11th and what the 24 Board members will be a hope historical meeting, during which the Board will consider and approve the young Fund’s first eight projects worth US$168 million. If and how the Fund will be able to fulfill its ambitious task to promote “the paradigm shift towards low-carbon and climate resilient development pathways” (GCF Governing Instrument), will depend on how the GCF Board and Secretariat define and implement the constituent elements of such a paradigm shift.

For example, can the GCF set new climate finance best practice in gender-responsive operation and implementation?  A new hbs paper, “From Innovative Mandate to Meaningful Implementation: Ensuring Gender-Responsive Green Climate Fund (GCF) Projects and Programs” analyses the GCF’s potential, as well as challenges and obstacles to fulfilling this role and how they could be overcome.  Success or failure in the GCF’s endeavor to mainstream gender considerations into its operations will have a crucial signaling function for the broader global climate process and the way global climate commitments are implemented.

As Board members will consider the first eight GCF projects proposals in Zambia, it is worthwhile for the Fund to “start of on the right foot”.  A group of civil society organizations, including hbs North America, have put together a short catalogue of principles evaluating the first GCF projects on their ability to provide transformational change in recipient countries.

Lastly, in Livingstone, the GCF Board will consider the third batch of implementing entities seeking accreditation with the Fund. After accrediting Deutsche Bank at its last meeting, the GCF Board is looking to accredit with HSBC and Crédit Agricole two more commercial banking giants with a questionable track record in fossil-fuel funding and accused of human rights violations and  money laundering. More than 120 international civil society groups and networks, including the Heinrich Böll Stiftung North America, have signed on to an open letter asking the 24 Board members to reject their accreditation request and to instead focus on supporting country-ownership by prioritizing the accreditation of developing countries’ national implementing entities.

Liane Schalatek / Heinrich-Böll-Foundation North America