CAN Submission: Response to Questions related to the “Paradigm Shift” Posed in the Co-Chairs’ information, Green Climate Fund, March 2013


On behalf of the more than 700 member organizations in the Climate Action Network International, we appreciate the opportunity to provide our comments on Co-Chairs’ information note on the informal discussion on the business model framework of the Green Climate Fund.

This submission will address the “initial guiding questions” posed by the Co-Chairs in relation to the Operational Objectives of the Fund: 

1. What does it mean, in practice, to promote a paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways? 

2. What results will the GCF be supporting to contribute to this paradigm shift? For example, for mitigation, are we only interested in tCO2e, or do we want tCO2e plus some measure of transformational change (for example, some demonstration of fit of activity with national strategy/innovation/fiscal effort)? 

The GCF should promote a “paradigm shift” by scaling-up resource flows for ambitious and effective climate related policies and actions in accordance with country-led strategies. It should incentivize synergies between the GCF’s strategic objectives and the achievement of overall national development strategies and the production of development co-benefits. To achieve these objectives, civil society and other stakeholders must be full partners, both at the international and national level, in determining the way in which the GCF will finance climate action. 

Towards this end, the Board should adopt the following definition of “paradigm shift” as part of its strategic vision or business model for the GCF: 

A paradigm shift involves a strategic, long-term, and fundamental re-orientation towards low-emission, climate-friendly, climate-resilient, pro-poor, gender-equitable and country-driven development. Such a transformation must be undertaken on the basis of country-owned strategies, plans and programmes that are developed and implemented through participatory and inclusive processes and that are integrated into developing countries’ core development plans. 

This understanding of “paradigm shift” includes three essential elements: (1) ambition, (2) country-led planning, and (3) participatory and inclusive decision-making.