Climate finance briefing: the Green Climate Fund

Briefing papers
November 2016
Liane Schalatek, Smita Nakhooda and Charlene Watson

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is the newest actor in the multilateral climate finance architecture and became fully operational in 2015. Since then, it has approved $1,170 million for 27 projects. A final board meeting is planned for December 2016, where the Fund hopes to make further progress towards its target of approving $2,500 million by the end of this year. The GCF is an operating entity of the Financial Mechanism of the UNFCCC.

A legally independent institution hosted by South Korea, it has its own secretariat and the World Bank as its interim trustee. It functions under the guidance of, and is accountable to, the UNFCCC COP. The 24 GCF board members, with equal representation of developed and developing countries, and support from the secretariat, have been working to operationalise the fund since their first meeting in August 2012. This year, the GCF focused on addressing policy gaps in essential policies and frameworks to receive, manage, program and disburse finance as well as measure and account for its results and impacts. By mid-October, it also accredited a total of 41 implementing entities.

The initial resource mobilisation effort that began in June 2014, raised $10.3 billion from 43 contributing countries (including eight developing countries) as well as a handful of regions and cities. By October 2016, $9.9 billion of pledged finance was formalised through contribution agreements.

Heading into COP 22 in Marrakesh, this briefing provides a snapshot of the operationalisation and functions of the GCF. While the Fund’s role in a post-2020 climate regime as the major finance channel under the Convention was confirmed, the scale of its resourcing remains to be clarified post-Paris Agreement.