Recent expansion of assistance by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to countries preparing to implement climate finance is targeting Africa and the Pacific.

Executive Director, Green Climate Fund (GCF), Howard Bamsey
The GCF has provided $700,000 to the Ministry of Natural Resources of Rwanda, a GCF direct access Accredited Entity, to assist the development of projects under the Fund’s Project Preparation Facility (PPF). This is an additional tranche within a $1.5 million grant under this funding package, which GCF provides to support various phases in developing climate finance projects.
The Fund has also disbursed $120,000 to Mauritania for activities under GCF’s Readiness Programme, which provides developing countries with resources to enhance country ownership and access to climate finance.
Through a partnership with United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), over $1.4 million have been disbursed to help boost the capacities for climate programmes in Egypt, Ghana, Jordan, Maldives, Nepal and Tonga.
GCF also has provided $130,000 in Readiness assistance, the second part of a $300,000 grant, to the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), an organisation governed by 26 Small Island Developing States (SIDS) that coordinates the design and implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation projects across the Pacific.
To date, the Green Climate Fund has disbursed more than $9 million for Readiness activities in developing countries across all regions

GCF approves $755m in funding for eight projects
April 6, 2017 Comments Offon GCF approves $755m in funding for eight projects 75 Views

The first Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board meeting of 2017 concluded on Thursday, April 6, 2017 by approving eight new projects and programmes valued at $755 million in GCF funding to assist developing countries respond to climate change. The decisions were reached during the 16th meeting of the Board (B.16) at GCF Headquarters in Songdo, Republic of Korea.

Howard Bamsey, Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund (GCF)
Taking the eight new projects into account, the Fund’s portfolio now consists of 43 projects and programmes amounting to $2.2 billion in GCF funding for a total value of $7.3 billion, with co-financing included.
The following projects and programmes were approved at B.16:
$265 million for the GEEREF NeXt programme financing renewable energy and energy efficiency projects across five regions in Africa; Latin America and the Caribbean; Middle East and North Africa; Non-European Union Eastern Europe / Central Asia; and the Pacific with the European Investment Bank (EIB);
$154.7 million for the Renewable Energy Financing Framework programme in Egypt with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD);
$50 million for the Scaling up Hydropower Sector Climate Resilience project in Tajikistan with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD);
EUR 102.7 million for the Simiyu Climate Resilience project in Tanzania with KfW development bank (KfW);
EUR 20 million for the Irrigation Development and Adaptation of Irrigated Agriculture to Climate Change in Semi-arid Morocco project with Agence Française de Développement (AfD);
EUR 31.97 million for the Saïss Water Conservation project in Morocco with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD);
$86 million for the Tina River Hydropower Development project in the Solomon Islands with the World Bank; and
$34.35 million for the Ground Water Recharge and Solar Micro Irrigation to Ensure Food Security and Enhance Resilience in Vulnerable Tribal Areas of Odisha project in India with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
“The Board has started 2017 with a strong focus on implementation,” said Ayman Shasly, Board Co-chair from Saudi Arabia. “The GCF is the largest international climate fund helping developing counties respond to climate change, and the Board gave strong support to the Fund to continue to enhance its capacity to implement effective climate finance.”
“The GCF has a busy agenda for 2017 as it matures as an organisation,” said fellow Co-Chair Ewen McDonald from Australia. “We made good progress in 2016 and now need to show we can implement the funding we have committed by strengthening our core operations and improving the quality of the project pipeline which, together, will see us deliver real and lasting outcomes.”
More than 250 participants took part in the 16th Board meeting, including observers from civil society and private sector organisations, National Designated Authorities (NDAs), Accredited Entities, and GCF Delivery Partners.
The 17th meeting of the GCF Board will be held from 4 to 6 July 2017 at GCF Headquarters; the 18th meeting will take place later in the year in the Arab Republic of Egypt.

GCF approves $250m projects, set for leadership change
July 1, 2016 Comments Offon GCF approves $250m projects, set for leadership change 345 Views

The 13th meeting of the Board (B.13) of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) has approved its first funding proposals for 2016 totalling $256.6 million in GCF funding.

Outgoing GCF executive director Hela Cheikhrouhou. Photo credit:
“The close of B.13 marks the half-way point for the GCF in 2016,” said Board Co-Chair Ewen McDonald (Australia). “Looking at what we’ve achieved so far this year – major policy gaps have been filled, we have a strategic plan, 13 new entities are accredited and now over USD 250 million in funding proposals has been approved – we’re tracking well.”
The Board on Friday in Songdo, South Korea called for more proposals with the aim of achieving its aspirational $2.5 billion approvals target in 2016.
“We still need more ambitious, paradigm-shifting proposals,” said Co-Chair Zaheer Fakir (South Africa). “B.13 has demonstrated that the GCF is ready to step up its project approvals and we want countries and accredited entities to respond by bringing us more proposals of increasing high quality and ambition.”
The nine projects approved for funding at B.13 are:
$21.7 million for Energy Savings Insurance (ESI) for Private Energy Efficiency Investments by Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in El Salvador with IDB
$20 million for De-Risking and Scaling-up Investment in Energy Efficient Building Retrofits in Armenia with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
$20.5 million for Large-scale Ecosystem-based Adaptation in The Gambia: Developing a Climate-Resilient, Natural Resource-based Economy in Gambia with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
$22.8 million for Africa Hydromet Programme – Strengthening Climate Resilience in sub-Saharan Africa: Mali Country Project with World Bank
$29.5 million for Improving the Resilience of Vulnerable Coastal Communities to Climate Change Related Impacts in Viet Nam with UNDP
$19 million for a Project to Support the World Bank’s Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Program for the Aral Sea Basin in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan
$36 million for Tuvalu Coastal Adaptation Project with UNDP
$38.1 million for Strengthening the Resilience of Smallholder Farmers in the Dry Zone to Climate Variability and Extreme Events in Sri Lanka with UNDP
Climate Action and Solar Energy Development Programme in the Tarapaća Region in Chile with CAF.
An important decision at the B.13 was the adoption of interim risk and investment guidelines that will help to attract proposals capable of higher leverage ratios and higher impact.
“The decision on risk and investment guidelines has the potential to unlock progress in key areas,” said McDonald. “It sends a very important signal about GCF’s risk appetite.”
GCF also announced a $200 million pilot for Enhanced Direct Access that will bolster countries’ decision-making authority over resources to support climate change projects and programmes. The Board also decided at its meeting to provide resources to countries for adaptation planning processes.
“In Paris, countries requested GCF to fast-track support for adaptation. In Songdo this week, the Board delivered,” Fakir said. “We approved seven adaptation funding proposals and direct support for national adaptation planning.”
The Board also made progress on the selection of a new Executive Director, with the expectation that a new Executive Director will be in place by the end of 2016. To ensure a smooth transition, the Board decided that the current Chief Financial Officer and Director of Support Services, Mr. Javier Manzanares, will serve as Executive Director and Interim once Ms. Héla Cheikhrouhou’s term concludes.
On the final day of the meeting, the Board paid tribute to Ms. Cheikhrouhou for her major contributions in setting up the Green Climate Fund, such as leading the mobilisation of $10 billion from 45 contributors and the successful launch of the Fund’s operations.

GCF Board meeting to refine climate finance flow
July 5, 2017 Comments Offon GCF Board meeting to refine climate finance flow 37 Views

The 17th meeting of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board opened on Wednesday, July 5, 2017, with a major goal to strengthen the Fund’s focus on targeting strong climate finance initiatives.

GCF co-chair, Mr. Ewen McDonald
The GCF Board’s 24 members will work to strengthen the policies underpinning GCF’s support for projects that reduce emissions and boost the resilience of communities to climate change.
More than 300 GCF Partners have gathered at the Fund’s headquarters in Songdo, South Korea, for the two-day meeting. They include observers from civil society and private sector organisations, National Designated Authorities (NDAs), which act as the main national conduits to the Fund, as well as Accredited Entities and other Partners that assist in delivering finance for climate action.
This is the second GCF Board gathering of the year. It follows a call by the GCF Board at its 16th meeting in April to focus on implementation.
To further this goal, the start of the Board meeting on Wednesday was preceded by informal consultations which focused on policy matters related to the approval of funding proposals.
Highlights of the next two days include discussions of GCF’s readiness support to boost the capacities of countries to seek and implement climate finance, the accreditation of new entities that carry out GCF-supported activities, as well as discussions on how GCF can support REDD+.
Meetings of the Board are co-chaired this year by Mr. Ayman Shasly, of Saudi Arabia, and Mr. Ewen McDonald, of Australia.
Board meetings represent timely signposts to GCF’s recent progress and future direction. During the past quarter of the year, GCF has been stepping up its transfer of funds for approved climate finance projects

Global carbon pricing hits $50 billion
By Roseline Okere   |   29 September 2015   |   11:11 pm

World Bank Group. Photo: techcabal
A new World Bank report showed that the number of implemented or planned carbon pricing schemes around the world has almost doubled since 2012, with existing schemes now worth about $50 billion.
According to the World Bank report on carbon pricing released recently, about 40 nations and 23 cities, states or regions are using a carbon price.
This, it noted, represents the equivalent of about seven billion tons of carbon dioxide, or 12 percent of annual global greenhouse gas emissions.
It disclosed that around the world, about 40 national and 23 city, states and regions were using carbon pricing schemes, like emissions trading systems (ETS) or carbon taxes. These represent about seven billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, or 12 per cent of global greenhouse emissions, a threefold increase over the past decade.
To help countries navigate the waters, the World Bank Group released a report today on the FASTER Principles, which helps governments and business develop efficient and cost-effective instruments to put a price on the social costs of emissions.
The FASTER principles are: F for fairness; A for alignment of policies and objectives; S for stability and predictability; T for transparency; E for efficiency and cost-effectiveness and R for reliability and environmental integrity.
“With COP21 fast approaching, the need for meaningful carbon policies is more important than ever. Carbon pricing is central to the quest for a cost-effective transition towards zero net emissions in the second half of the century.
These principles, it hinted, will help governments to incorporate carbon pricing as a key part of their policy toolkit.
The research draws on over a decade of experiences with carbon pricing initiatives around the world, such as emissions trading systems and taxes in places like the European Union, British Columbia, Denmark, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
It points to what’s been learnt to date: well-designed carbon pricing schemes are a powerful and flexible tool that can cut emissions that cause climate change and if adequately designed and implemented can play a key role in enhancing innovation and smoothing the transition to a prosperous, low-carbon global economy.
“Carbon pricing is effective in reducing emissions that cause climate change, is straightforward to administer, can raise valuable revenues for broader fiscal reforms, and can help address local pollution as well as global climate change.