GCF Board approves nearly USD 600m in new climate projects
By Anyway Yotamu
The thirty-fifth meeting of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board has ended with the approval of over USD 587.7 million in new climate finance for developing nations, as well as the selection of a new Executive Director.
Mafalda Duarte has been selected as the next Executive Director of GCF, with Henry Gonzalez, GCF Deputy Executive Director, appointed to serve as interim Executive Director until Duarte starts her tenure with GCF. The outgoing Executive Director Yannick Glemarec is reaching the end of his four-year term and will leave GCF on 2 April 2023.
Speaking at the end of his last Board meeting, Glemarec said, “It has been an honour to lead GCF and its outstanding staff for these past four years and to shepherd the organisation’s growth and evolution. As we near the end of the first replenishment period, GCF has become the hub of the climate finance architecture with over 200 public and private delivery partners, breaking down investment barriers and catalysing finance at scale for developing countries.”
He added, “I am delighted that Mafalda has been appointed as my successor. Mafalda brings proven experience in climate fund management to GCF that will enable the organisation to continue its rapid growth during the second replenishment period and deliver on its ambitious mandate to avert catastrophic climate change.”
The meeting was the first to be held under the direction of the Board’s new Co-chairs Nauman Bashir Bhatti of Pakistan and Victoria Gunderson of the United States, as well as the first of 2023.
Co-chair Nauman Bashir Bhatti said, “The projects approved at this meeting send a strong message that despite multiple global challenges, GCF’s Board is committed to maintaining strong momentum on climate action for developing nations, by providing critical financial resources, while ensuring predictability, speed, and scale. The Board looks forward to working constructively with Mafalda to support the Fund’s development in a critical replenishment year.”
Co-chair Victoria Gunderson said, “These project approvals and the appointment of a new Executive Director show that GCF is continuing to deliver on its mandate to serve the needs of developing nations. The productive discussions we had at this Board meeting are testament to the continuing growth and evolution of the organisation and the development of its catalytic portfolio. The Board looks forward to working with Mafalda to continue this journey.”
The meeting approved over USD 587 million in new climate finance across seven projects. These include projects in Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, the Philippines, Bolivia, Colombia as well as renewable energy and climate resilient infrastructure programmes spanning multiple countries.
Project agreements (Funding Activity Agreements) were signed for four of the projects on the sidelines of the Board meeting shortly after their approval, ensuring they can move rapidly to implementation. Full details of the projects approved are listed below.
With these new project approvals, GCF’s portfolio now stands at 216 projects worth USD 12 billion in investment of GCF resources and USD 45 billion total assets under management when including co-financing.
The Board also approved the accreditation of The Nature Conservancy based in the United States, and the re-accreditations of Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) based in Belize and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) based in the United States. This brings the total number of GCF Accredited Entities to 114, including 72 regional or national Direct Access Entities.
The Board was updated on the Fund’s ongoing second replenishment by Dr Mahmoud Mohieldin who was appointed as Facilitator for the replenishment process. The replenishment will culminate in a pledging conference in October, when new contributions to GCF will be formalised.
The Board heard updates on the Fund’s Risk Management Framework and the Updated Strategic Plan 2024-2027, which will be presented for approval at the next Board meeting. Other items of note were a presentation by the Independent Evaluation Unit on the final report of the Secondary Performance Review of GCF and a request to the Secretariat to prepare a proposal on financing of results-based payments for REDD+ for Board consideration and approval later this year.
The meeting concluded with a farewell to Glemarec where the Co-chairs and Board members expressed their appreciation to the outgoing Executive Director for his leadership and contributions to the Fund.
The next meeting of the GCF Board will be held on 10 – 13 July 2023 in Incheon, Republic of Korea.
The seven projects approved at the meeting are:
FP199: Public-Social-Private Partnerships for Ecologically Sound Agriculture and Resilient Livelihood in Northern Tonle Sap Basin (PEARL) with Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Cambodia.
FP200: Scaling up the implementation of the Lao PDR Emission Reductions Programme through improved governance and sustainable forest landscape management (Project 2) with GIZ in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
FP201: Adapting Philippine Agriculture to Climate Change (APA) with FAO in the Philippines.
FP202: Upscaling Ecosystem Based Climate Resilience of Vulnerable Rural Communities in the Valles Macro-region of the Plurinational State of Bolivia (RECEM-Valles) with FAO in Bolivia.
FP203: Heritage Colombia (HECO): Maximizing the Contributions of Sustainably Managed Landscapes in Colombia for Achievement of Climate Goals with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Colombia.
FP204: Sustainable Renewables Risk Mitigation Initiative (SRMI) Facility (Phase 2 Resilience focus) [SRMI-Resilience] with the World Bank in Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Seychelles, Somalia, Tajikistan and Tunisia.
FP205: Infrastructure Climate Resilient Fund (ICRF) with Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) in Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo (the), Djibouti, Gabon, Gambia (the), Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Togo and Zambia.
Projects represent a combined total of USD 587.7 million in GCF funding.
FP199: Public-Social-Private Partnerships for Ecologically Sound Agriculture and Resilient Livelihood in Northern Tonle Sap Basin (PEARL) with FAO.
FP200: Scaling up the implementation of the Lao PDR Emission Reductions Programme through improved governance and sustainable forest landscape management (Project 2) with GIZ.
FP203: Heritage Colombia (HECO): Maximizing the Contributions of Sustainably Managed Landscapes in Colombia for Achievement of Climate Goals with WWF FP204: Sustainable Renewables Risk Mitigation Initiative (SRMI) Facility (Phase 2 Resilience focus) [SRMI-Resilience] with the World Bank.
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is the world’s largest dedicated climate fund. GCF’s mandate is to foster a paradigm shift towards low emission, climate-resilient development pathways in developing countries.
GCF has a portfolio of USD 12 billion (USD 45 billion including co-financing) delivering transformative climate action in more than 120 countries. It also has a readiness support programme that builds capacity and helps countries develop long-term plans to fight climate change. GCF is an operating entity of the financial mechanism of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and serves the 2015 Paris Agreement, supporting the goal of keeping average global temperature rise well below 2°C.