Taking Charge: Summary of first Green Climate Fund Board Meeting
At its First Meeting, the GCF Board lays the Groundwork for the Functioning of the New Fund
At its first meeting from August 23-25 in Geneva, the 24 members of the new Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) officially took charge – a full four months later than mandated by the decision of the Conference of Parties at COP17 in Durban because of delays in designating its members, but eager to decide the direction of and vision for the Fund and regain momentum as the Board begins the complex and ambitious work of fully operationalizing the GCF by early 2014.
The new Board also made clear from the very beginning that it intends this work to be a Board-driven process, with the Interim Secretariat, which has operated without clear orders since spring, expected to now follow only the guidance given by the Board. At its historic Geneva meeting, the new Board discussed a range of issues, most of them administrative and logistical, but also forecasting decisions with far-reaching implications, including the selection of the future host country of the Fund and the move toward a permanent secretariat and a new executive director for the GCF.
In a constructive and generally amicable atmosphere the 24 members of the Board and their alternates – a majority of them having already worked together during the GCF design process in the Transitional Committee (TC) last year – vowed to work constructively and efficiently not as a negotiating but as a governing body for the Fund. While the first meeting was not one to produce a lot of concrete decisions, it nevertheless laid the groundwork for the functioning of the new Fund under the direction of the Board
and produced an ambitious to-do list for the Board of issues to discuss and decide at its second Board meeting scheduled to be held in Songdo, South Korea from October 18 - 20, the only other GCF Board meeting before the COP18 in Doha.
In order to get ready for Doha, at its second meeting the Board will decide on the GCF’s first activity report to the COP, prepare its position on necessary arrangements between the GCF and the COP, and decide which of six bidding countries will be hosting the GCF. The latter decision, to be approved by the COP18 in Doha, is the precondition for the Fund to acquire judicial personality speedily and with it the ability to enter into agreements with both contributing and recipient countries.
NOTE: In contrast to the proceedings for the design of the GCF in the Transitional Committee last year, the Geneva meeting was not webcast or archived; thus far no official record of the meeting has been shared with the public. This reflects the fact that the new Board so far has had no opportunity to discuss and agree on an information disclosure policy for Board meetings. This summary -- mindful of the absence of a formally agreed GCF disclosure policy and respectful of future decisions on that matter by the full Board -- therefore omits the attribution of statements made during the Board meeting to specific members. In the spirit of transparency and information sharing with those not able to participate, the summary report's intent is to reflect on some of the key issues and exchanges of the Geneva meeting. It is based primarily on notes taken by author and other civil society colleagues who participated as observers in the first GCF Board meeting.
For the full report, click here....