GCF steadies ship, sets course to process $5bn project pipeline

Published 10:55 on March 11, 2016  /  Last updated at 11:26 on March 11, 2016  /  Africa, Americas, Asia Pacific, Climate Talks, EMEA, International, Other APAC, Paris Article 6, South & Central  /  No Comments

The GCF inched closer to speed its processing of over $5 billion of developing-world climate finance as its board approved 13 new partners and agreeing to almost treble its staff numbers.

The GCF inched closer to speed its processing of over $5 billion of developing-world climate finance as its board approved 13 new partners and agreeing to almost treble its staff numbers.

“The spirit of Board unity endured this week, and we will continue in this manner throughout the remaining three meetings this year,” said South Africa’s Zaheer Fakir, GCF board co-chair, in a statement.

The $10.3 billion GCF approved its first projects last November but has existing funding proposals amounting to $1.5 billion, with a total of 22 mitigation and adaptation projects in the pipeline seeking over $5 billion.

It did not consider any new projects at its week-long meeting but took several steps designed to help accelerate the process.

The board took its total of accredited partners to channel its funding to 22, adding 13 new ones including four governments and private banks HSBC and Credit Agricole, despite the objection of 170 green groups due to the latter two’s  huge investments in fossil fuels and involvement in mismanagement scandals.

The newly-approved 13 are:

  • Agency for Agricultural Development of Morocco (ADA);
  • Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia (MOFEC);
  • National Environment Management Authority of Kenya (NEMA);
  • Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA);
  • Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (Crédit Agricole CIB);
  • HSBC Holdings plc and its subsidiaries (HSBC);
  • African Development Bank (AfDB);
  • European Investment Bank (EIB);
  • International Finance Corporation (IFC);
  • Unidad Para el Cambio Rural from Argentina (Unit for Rural Change – UCAR);
  • International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN);
  • World Food Programme (WFP); and
  • World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The board agreed to increase the size of its secretariat from 56 to 100 by the end of the year, and to 140 by the end of 2017. The board had cited poor pay and the GCF’s remote location in Songdo, South Korea, as reasons for its struggle to recruit staff in the past.

The board also said it will webstream live it’s previously closed-door meetings and started recruiting for a new Executive Director to succeed Hela Cheikhrouhou once her three-year term ends in September.

During the meeting, the US transferred the first $500 million of its $3 billion pledge, easing doubts about its commitment amid opposition from Republicans in its Congress.

The GCF board will next meet June 28-30 in Songdo, with further 2016 meetings in October in Quito and December in Samoa.

By Ben Garside – ben@carbon-pulse.com