The Green Climate Fund (GCF) aims ‘to make a significant and ambitious contribution to the global efforts towards attaining the goals set by the international community to combat climate change.’ It was formally established by a UNFCCC decision in Durban, South Africa in December 2011, although the groundwork was laid in the earlier, non-binding ‘Copenhagen Accord’ of 2009.
It is widely claimed that the objective of the GCF is to raise $100 billion per year in climate financing by 2020. This is not an official figure, however, and disputes remain as to whether the funding target will be based on public sources, or whether leveraged private finance will be counted towards the total. Only a fraction of this sum has been pledged so far, mostly to cover start-up costs.
The GCF is overseen by a 24-strong Board, composed of equal number of members from developing and developed countries, and will be headquartered in Songdo (Incheon), South Korea. The World Bank serves as the interim trustee, meaning that it is tasked with administering any money currently raised.
Many of the rules according to which the GCF will operate remain to be discussed. To start with, however, it will have ‘thematic funding windows’ for adaptation and mitigation, as well as a separate ‘private sector facility’.
Further reading and resources
Friends of the Earth USA (2011), Lessons learned from the financial crisis – A cautionary tale for the Green Climate Fund
Redman, J. (2013) What next for the Green Climate Fund after Doha dud?
Redman, J. and O. Reyes (2014) A Devil’s Bargain on the Climate
Reyes, O. (2014), 7 things to look out for in the UN’s Green Climate Fund
Reyes, O. (2013), Songdo fallout: is green finance a red herring?
Sierra, K. (2011), The Green Climate Fund: Options for Mobilizing the Private Sector