ECO woke up this morning thinking about the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and how a song by Britney Spears could reference it. Imagine if the song went: “I must confess I still believe (still believe) when I am not with you I lose my mind, give me a sign! Give me Money one more time”. (and the next time and time after that €¦ you get the idea)€¨
In 2019 the Green Climate Fund needs us all to work together. We need to ensure a successful first replenishment of the fund. To do so, developed countries need to significantly increase their public contributions to at least double their share of the initial resource mobilization and to do so overwhelmingly in grants. ECO remembers the commitment to mobilize US$100 billion by 2020, which, in case you haven’t noticed, is quickly approaching. This first replenishment is, in ECO’s view, a significant step towards this goal and maybe the most important moment for climate finance in 2019. It won’t come for a song. Talk is cheap, but replenishment needs real money and lots of it. Here is why:
Since 2014, countries have pledged a total of US$10.3 billion. This money has not been sitting idle. The first GCF projects were approved before Paris. Since then the fund has supported 102 climate projects worth US$ 5 billion in close to 100 countries. In grant equivalent terms, 54 percent of that support went to adaptation measures, fulfilling the promise to balance support for mitigation and adaptation. While it would be better if balance could be reached even in nominal terms, nevertheless the GCF has significantly increased the availability and approval of multilateral funding for adaptation in just a few short years. A full 69 percent of GCF funding approved for adaptation efforts (in grant equivalent terms) is directed toward the most vulnerable countries, LDCs, SIDS and African States. €¨
GCF readiness support is reaching 120 developing countries to strengthen climate-related processes and institutions and to broaden ownership in order to empower local communities and Indigenous Peoples. Such support is crucial to build the capacity for ambitious climate actions under the Paris Agreement in developing countries. The GCF now has a growing partner network of 84 implementing partners, 48 of which are direct access entities, and many more waiting to be accredited. Already, GCF is punching significantly above its financial weight and has the potential to further raise the quality of climate finance implementation through strong human rights-centred policies supporting gender equality and Indigenous Peoples” rights. In its monitoring framework, GCF aims to hold all of its partner entities accountable for how much their entire portfolio is compatible with Paris goals, and not just the handful of projects they might do with GCF.
GCF is a major delivery channel of concessional climate finance to developing countries. Its projects expect to avoid 1.5 billion tons of carbon and to benefit 250 million people around the world. And its core objectives, features and guiding principles make it unique. Beyond just effectiveness and efficiency of climate finance, the GCF’s mandate includes gender mainstreaming and being responsive to vulnerable populations. €¨
Now, for GCF to pursue its mandate and to help developing countries implement the Paris Agreement, the quality of investments must be matched with an increased quantity of funding. ECO wants GCF to help countries implement ambitious domestic climate plans to respond to climate urgency. The need is there: close to US$15 billion in project concepts and proposals are waiting to be funded. Now GCF is nearing the end of its ability to commit funding by the end of this year. For GCF to fully realize its transformative potential, ECO thinks it must be generously replenished. Only then can GCF help developing countries reach their highest ambitions in both mitigation and adaptation efforts aligned with the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement.
Delivering on the GCF replenishment and ensuring that developed countries contribute at least double their pledges for the first replenishment cements the Fund’s intended role as main multilateral funding instrument in the climate process, it builds trust as we are heading into the crucial 2020 NDC upgrade period and builds the confidence that the US$100 billion promise can be fulfilled after all.
Let’s join Germany and Norway who have outed themselves already. “I must confess, I still believe” that at this SB50 you will raise your voices to say “fill those coffers one more time”.