GCF Report Highlights Significant Progress in Climate Impact
By Anyway Yotamu
The world’s largest dedicated climate funder, Green Climate Fund (GCF) has released the GCF-1 Progress Report, which highlights the extensive progress made in delivering high-impact climate finance during the 2020-2023 period (referred to as ‘GCF-1’), ahead of its replenishment for the next four years.
The GCF-1 Progress Report records the significant expansion of the Fund during this period, with a portfolio now standing at 216 projects, worth USD 12 billion, and with total assets under management, including co-financing, of over USD 45 billion.
GCF has become the world’s largest dedicated climate fund, supporting adaptation and mitigation projects in 129 countries across the world.
The report also describes the organisational growth and maturation of the Fund.
Over the last four years the organisation has made significant strides in strategy and operations, resulting in improved efficiency and effectiveness. The Fund is delivering climate finance more quickly to those most in need while it continues to invest in transformational projects which enable new climate solutions and new markets.
The GCF-1 period also saw a shift in the Fund’s approach, evolving from an organisation that channels climate finance, to one which also catalyses much larger volumes of finance from private and public sources and enables green markets to develop, supporting developing countries to meet and exceed ambitious climate targets in line with the Paris Agreement.
Some of the key 2020-2023 highlights includes
The GCF portfolio significantly grew, doubling in size and reaching the USD 10 billion mark in 2021. At the time of publication, GCF has committed over USD 12 billion with more than 200 projects.
87 per cent of approved projects are under implementation, passing the USD 9 billion mark in 2022. Disbursements to projects surpassed USD 3 billion, more than tripling the volume of resources deployed on the ground since the Fund’s Initial Resource Mobilisation.
The GCF-1 strategic priorities of adaptation, innovation, direct access and private sector mobilisation were reflected in GCF programming with several transformative programmes and projects approved in this period.
Progress was made in increasing access to climate finance. GCF undertook various initiatives such as simplifying and streamlining funding processes, holding dialogues with countries and partners to better understand their financing needs and challenges, and significantly improved its speed of delivery from proposal review to disbursement of funds.
GCF is also undertaking a change in leadership ahead of the next funding period. Yannick Glemarec who successfully led GCF in GCF- 1 completed his term in April 2023, and Mafalda Duarte who was appointed as the incoming Executive Director will officially start her term in July 2023. Henry Gonzalez, Deputy Executive Director, is acting Executive Director in the interim.
“This report shows the excellent progress made, improved efficiency and impact delivered during the GCF-1 period, with GCF truly becoming the hub of international climate finance,” said Henry Gonzalez, GCF Executive Director ad interim. “With more we can do even more. It is vital to deliver increased climate finance funding during GCF-2 to make even more progress in supporting the climate change needs of developing nations. It is an investment in innovation and new, transformative solutions.”
The Fund is gearing up for its second replenishment (called GCF-2), a process which will culminate in a pledging conference in Germany in October 2023. Pledges made by countries to GCF will determine its ability to support additional future climate projects, which will need to be scaled up further to help developing countries effectively respond to the climate crisis in the years ahead.
The Board is currently considering a draft strategic plan for the 2024-2027 period which is based on successes and lessons learned from GCF-1 and on feedback from GCF’s extensive network of partners and stakeholders. GCF will help drive systemic transitions in critical areas of global concernenergy, sustainable food systems, climate-resilient infrastructure and biodiversity protection.