Tensions remain over access to the Green Climate Fund

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The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has just approved a further 11 projects, totalling $393m in funding to help countries respond to climate change. Encouragingly, over half of these are projects either with an adaptation or resilience focus, or which combine low carbon and resilience components.

The latest round of approvals highlights tensions in the GCF, however, between the desire to move beyond dispersals through large multi-lateral organisations and increase direct access from national organisations, and strict the strict fiduciary standards required. Two Latin American proposals, including one under the Enhanced Direct Access scheme, were vetoed by the UK representative for their high costs, despite having been recommended by GCF technical evaluators.

The desire to ensure that projects are a success, and that GCF money is effective in increasing resilience to climate change is understandable. However, if the GCF is to overcome the impression that its procedures are too burdensome, and truly devolve funding to more local scales, there may be a need for more flexibility in approving certain projects.

What is clear time and again from conversations with our partners is that there is a huge demand on the one hand from international funds for investable, or ‘bankable’ projects, and on the other for support in developing proposals that can attract such international funding. Bridging this gap between supply and demand remains a key challenge in increasing the amount of money actually dispersed from international adaptation funds, and is an area we are actively exploring. 

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