CAN Speaking Notes from GCF Board Meeting, March 12 – 15


Resource Mobilization:

·      In our earlier interventions we emphasized that the GCF should narrowly focus on ambitious, paradigm shifting actions. That, of course, implies that resources will be made available at the scale and urgency that the task requires, in accordance with the commitments of Article 4.3 and 11.3 of the Convention. So these are, in large measure, two sides of same coin.

·      Developed countries should put forward initial pledges as a matter of urgency in 2013, that could be reported back to COP19, as indicator of progress taking place here, and to prepare the way for disbursements next year.

·      We’d support Derek and several other’s preference for option 2, step-wise approach, with a caveat.

·      As a matter of credibility and impact, rapid resourcing leading to disbursements as soon as possible is critical, in the context of adequate environmental, social and fiduciary standards. .

·      Resourcing need not await agreement on a burden sharing allocation. Neither should it prejudge the outcome of a future agreement on burden sharing arrangements for future replenishment processes.

·      The longer term framework must be designed to deliver adequate and predictable resources. To that end, the resource mobilisation framework should be designed to also allow the receipt of revenues from sources of additional public finance other than direct contributions from developed countries, such as from financial transaction taxes, the use of special drawing rights, carbon taxes, and aviation and maritime levies.

·      The scale of the GCF’s ambition should not be limited by the claim that there is a scarcity of public money. Certainly, enormous sums have been made rapidly available to pay for other actions governments have seen as urgent, wars and financial bailouts.

·      Multiple feasible proposals exist for generating large amounts of public money from innovative sources, such as carbon pricing, closing tax loopholes, and redirecting fossil fuel subsidies in developed countries, etc.  At the end of the day, its an issue of political scarcity, not economic scarcity.

·      Finally, regarding section 6.3 on earmarking. We wouldn’t want to see individual contributors circumvent Board decision-making through earmarking. Allocation of funds should be decided by the GCF board, reflecting developing country needs and in accordance with the GI’s requirement for a balanced allocation between mitigation and adaptation. In particular, we are concerned that adaptation will be given short shrift under an earmarking arrangement.


Addressing "to promote a paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways.":

·      Address first 2 guiding questions: what it means to “to promote a paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways”.

·      Given the scale of the challenge and the unique mandate of the GCF, the objective of achieving a “paradigm shift” should be the central organizing principle of the GCF’s work.  How the GCF defines and prioritizes actions to spur a “paradigm shift” will be a key determinant of its impact and effectiveness on the climate crisis and in making a significant difference in the lives of affected people.

·      It is therefore critical for the Board to reach understanding on the “paradigm shift” the GCF will promote for mitigation and adaptation. This includes a discussion on how to apply it also to the PS facility. We believe the “paradigm shift” must include these three pillars: (1) ambition, (2) country-driven planning, and (3) multi-stakeholder, participatory and inclusive decision-making.

·      All 3 are critically important to us, but country led planning and participatory decision-making have other textual homes in the GI, so won’t address them further now. Ambition—what is suitably ambitious to merit GCF support? does not, so I’d like to spend the time discussing.

·      A couple introductory points:

·      Rough and ready understanding: When BAU for decisions by governments, investors and consumers, and civil society lead to the low carbon and climate resilient actions.

·      Consensus that GCF Funded initiatives should deliver sustainable development and resiliency benefits, including at the local level. Board should be clear about how those values be integrated in decision-making? 

·      GCF needs to be strategic and add value. For example, actions that would go forward without GCF support cannot, by definition, promote a paradigm shift.

·      Mitigation:

o   First, the GCF should focus on enabling a rapid shifting of emissions trajectories, taking into account environmental and social safeguards, and taking a gender-sensitive approach, ensuring social, economic and development co-benefits particularly for the poor.

o   Second, paradigm shifting actions should also include initiatives that may deliver smaller immediate reductions, but can contribute towards transforming markets and patterns of consumption and investment over the medium to long term.

o   In this regard, initiatives to support SME are critical. Many of the most transformational initiatives underway today are happening at the local level, scaling up these initiatives can be an extremely effective way to catalyze a paradigm shift at the scale and ambition that is required. Resist the idea that ambition and transformation are synomymous with big infrastructure.

o   In general, preference for supporting policy level shifts over one-off investments.

·      Adaptation:

o   Ambition in adaptation context is tougher to define. It means building resilience at different levels–national, regional and local—to the variety of climate induced stressors that need to be addressed comprehensively.

o   It must be understood in the context of developing country needs and the rights of those directly impacted, including critically, equitable resource access and the participation of affected communities in adaptation decision-making.

Thank you for the opportunity to come speak at this informal session, and we look forward to contributing to a rich discussion over the next 3 days. 


BMF Intervention Notes

·      URGENCY! When we next come together in June, it will be 3.5 years after announced in Copenhagen, 2.5 years after agreed in Cancun. still talking about vision of fund, not even yet about mobilizing resources at scale and urgency required, let alone supporting action on the ground! We know this not easy, but urge board to redouble efforts to find a way forward.

·      That said, We fully support the effort to clarify proposed areas of work, objectives, gaps and opportunities in existing architecture, and indicators of success, as a matter of priority and indeed urgency.

·      But, This work should be undertaken in the context of the overarching objective of promoting a paradigm shift and resiliency in context of sustainable development.—so within each area of work, and for each proposed objective, this effort should identify the approaches that are likely to be suitably ambitious and transformational in their impacts, and will also serve the interests of the poor. Need for the overarching objectives to be translated into specific, measurable criteria for evaluating and prioritizing proposals.

Section C

·      Also don’t find wholesale/retail illuminating.

·      Convergence on principle of direct access and country drivenness—further work will need to include analysis of options how the PSF can serve to further the country-driven approach, and the role of national designated authorities in that process AND modalities for subnational and non-governmental access. 

·      transparency and accountability, input from CSO and PSO, (c5)

·      On leveraging:

o   Emphasize the importance of policy shifts, which may often have the potential to leverage greater change than discrete investments. This is true, even if you think that leveraging the private secotr is a critical priority. so a critical question here is the extent to which the Fund will focus on supporting those shifts.

o   Leveraging finance not an objective in itself, need to relate back to overarching objectives of paradigm shift, and promoting sustainable development and resilience, esp for the poor.  narrow indicators of leverage may not be helpful in benchmarking impact.

·      Annex and CONSULTANCY

·      We recognize this is an enormously difficult undertaking, and that the Board needs to bring an extremely broad array of expertise to bear.

·      But obviously, the full range of necessary expertise is unlikely to reside in any one consultancy or think tank, and so it is critically important that this process be open to a broad range of inputs. A couple of specific recommendations:

o   Build on the enormous body of work already undertaken under the convention, country needs assessments, national communications, country plans, and the work of the transitional committee.

o   Consultancy or think tanks should include developing country perspectives, and expertise beyond the financial realm

o   The TOR should be put out for public comment.

o   The TOR should make clear that the work should be based on broad consultation and public input

o   The report should present options and alternatives, not just recommendations.

 On safeguards in Annex I (f) (1): includes analysis of best practices in the participatory decisionmaking and application of safeguards/standards in funding decisions and implementation of activities, including the PCF


Notes for intervention

Readiness, including needs assessments, organizational capacity building and the development of strategic plans from which funding proposals can be derived will be essential.

Show real value in two ways:

·      Readiness will expand the universe of countries who can come forward with the kind of high quality, transformational proposals that the Board will be looking for.

·      Improve the overall quality of proposals that will be put before the Board, as countries learn from each other and build on previous proposals.

We also believe that at least an initial strategy for supporting readiness could be fast tracked within the broader BMF conversation, and I would submit that this might provide a useful way forward on the sequencing issue that arose in the last session. The preparation of a fast tracked readiness strategy might unlock  opportunities for more rapid capitalization, in advance of resolving all of the outstanding BMF issues.


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