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Green Climate Fund to ring-fence 25% of cash for ‘vulnerable’ nations

Meeting in Bali outlines how funds will be allocated, stressing importance of private sector in leveraging resources

(Pic: UN Photos)

(Pic: UN Photos)

By Ed King

Half of the UN-backed Green Climate Fund’s financial support for climate adaptation is set to be directed towards small island states and other vulnerable regions.

At a meeting in Bali board members agreed to aim for a “50:50 balance between mitigation and adaptation over time”, additionally guaranteeing that at least 50% of the adaptation funding allocation would be diverted to high risk areas.

This means around a quarter of the GCF’s total resources at any one time will be directed towards Pacific Islands, African States and members of the Least Development Countries group which are battling rising sea levels and extreme weather events.

The question over how much ‘ownership’ individual countries will have over money they are given remains unresolved, and will be dealt with at a meeting in May.

The Fund is due to launch later this year, and is a major part of plans agreed at the UN to channel around $100 billion a year to clean energy and climate resilience projects in the developing world.

This week Italy announced it would contribute €500,000 to the GCF, bringing the total pledged to the fund this week up to around $935,000.

Blurred lines

In a move that provoked anger among many NGOs the board said it wants to “maximise engagement with the private sector”, through a “significant allocation” to the Private Sector Fund.

ActionAid’s Brandon Wu, who was following discussions in Bali, told RTCC the “jury is still out” on whether the GCF will be a success.

“Only two of the eight decisions that the Board is supposed to make before the GCF is capitalized were taken here,” he said.

“We welcome the decision on allocation, which – while not perfect – does aim for a 50/50 balance of adaptation and mitigation funding and a 50% floor for adaptation funding going to vulnerable countries.”

He added: “Other key aspects of the GCF remain troublingly undefined, including what its social and environmental safeguards will look like, how its private sector facility will engage with private sector actors in recipient countries, how it will measure results, and – most importantly – how much money developed countries will contribute, and when.”

Oscar Reyes, an Associate Fellow at the Washington DC-based Institute for Policy Studies described progress as “grindingly slow.”

“Most of what was scheduled for decision in Bali has been postponed. Given the inability to decide on matters of substance, the chances of significant breakthroughs at the next Board meeting in May look extremely slim,” he said.

The next meeting will take place at the GCF headquarters in Songdo, South Korea, from May 18-21. An extra day has been added due to the large number of unresolved decisions.

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  • Lana Lang

    I am really concerned that the push towards a “50:50 balance between mitigation and adaptation over time” in the GCF might push us further towards disaster.

    Under the Fast Start, about 70% went to mitigation and 20% to adaptation.

    If the funds are pushed from mitigation to adaptation, it will make climate change EVEN MORE severe because mitigation will not be sufficient.

    Have the decision makers and NGO’s even thought about this?