Green Climate Fund approves first projects for Africa, others

Climate change effects

Climate change effects

AHEAD of the Paris summit, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board has approved USD 168 million of GCF funding for projects and programmes worth USD 624 million, marking the end of its launch phase and kick-starting the flow of climate finance through the Fund to developing countries.

The GCF, which was set up by 194 governments party to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), was given the mandate to help keep the planet’s atmospheric temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius.

The Fund received pledges of approximately USD 10 billion equivalent in 2014, of which more than half have been signed into contribution agreements. It has now started to invest its resources to support developing countries’ transition to climate-resilient and low-emission development, enabling the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The activities supported by the Board will generate up to USD 1.3 billion in investments over the coming five years. The Board, meeting in Zambia this week, has approved an initial batch of projects, covering mitigation and adaptation measures. The projects include three in Africa, three in Asia-Pacific, and two in Latin America. The partnering entities for the projects include national, regional, and international bodies accredited to the Fund, from both the public and private sectors.

The eight projects approved include Scaling Up the Use of Modernized Climate Information and Early Warning Systems in Malawi, with UNDP (GCF funding: USD 12.3 million); Increasing the Resilience of Ecosystems and Communities through the Restoration of the Productive Bases of Salinized Lands, in Senegal, with CSE (GCF funding: USD 7.6 million); KawiSafi Ventures Fund in Eastern Africa, with Acumen (GCF funding: USD 25 million).

“Approving these first projects is an important milestone, particularly for GCF’s partnering entities and beneficiaries,” stated Gabriel Quijandria Acosta, Co-Chair of the Board. “This first review of projects has been an enriching experience for the Board. It has allowed us to reflect on the areas that need to be further enhanced to speed up support to countries that are already experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change.”

“The approved projects showcase the transformative impacts that GCF has been designed to deliver,” added Board Co-Chair Henrik Harboe. “We have some innovative projects which have all satisfied our rigorous review process, including the assessment by the independent Technical Advisory Panel,” Harboe said. “The Fund is now truly up and running, and I am confident the Board will go on to scale and fund much bigger projects in the near future, living up to our ambition with the Fund.”

The Board also agreed to allocate up to USD 195 million to the future phases of the Energy Efficiency Green Bond Programme in Latin America and the Caribbean, further mobilizing an estimated USD 630 million in private investments.

“The energy efficiency green bond is innovative. It demonstrates how capital markets can move mainstream institutional funds into energy efficiency,” said Samy Ben-Jaafar, Director of GCF’s Private Sector Facility. “If replicated, this approach could unlock the capital necessary to address global financing shortfalls in energy efficiency,” he explained.

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