Climate Policy & Finance Archive

Climate Policy & Finance Archive

What's at stake for COP 24?


The Katowice UN Climate Change Conference will take place in Katowice from the 3rd till the 14th of December 2018. 

By Don Lehr

Local actors ready to act: Six proposals to improve their access to the Green Climate Fund

This booklet proposes six specific recommendations to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board, Secretariat and other relevant policy-makers to increase access of local actors to climate funds, and ensure accessible, gender-responsive climate finance decision-making processes. These proposals range from setting up small grants facilities to a complete revision of the operations and results framework of climate funds. The booklet is meant to stimulate more and deeper debate on the crucial role local actors play in the transformative change needed to deal with global climate change.

In Bonn & Beyond, Gender-Responsive Climate Finance Is More Than Numbers


What does a normative framing and a push for the gender-responsiveness of climate finance mean for the global climate finance architecture and the Green Climate Fund? A set of four new information briefs as part of an annual update of the Climate Finance Fundamentals (CFF) briefing series explores this relationship.

By Liane Schalatek

Climate Finance Fundamentals 11: The Green Climate Fund

Heading into COP 23 in Bonn under a Fiji COP presidency, this Climate Finance Fundamental provides a snapshot of the operationalization and functions of the Fund. While the Fund’s role in a post-2020 climate regime as the major finance channel under the Convention was confirmed, the scale of its resourcing remains to be clarified post-Paris

Promoting Rights-based Climate Finance for People and Planet


This draft report sets out the key human rights risks associated with climate finance, the human rights responsibilities of State and private actors in the mobilization and administration of funding and the governance of funds and the current international architecture for climate finance.

Signal effect for global climate finance


The Green Climate Fund is important for implementing the Paris Agreement and for setting important standards for global climate finance. The financial viability of the fund, however, is by no means guaranteed. 

By Liane Schalatek

With or without the Paris Agreement –Trump won’t have the Last Word on US Climate Policy

With states, cities, and citizens willing to double down and move ahead with climate commitments, the global community can still count on many Americans’ willingness to act responsibly in support of global climate actions, even if their White House is not. Unfortunately, such activism will not make up for the failure of the Trump administration to make good on its international climate finance obligation.

By Liane Schalatek, Nora Löhle

“We’ll always have Paris”

At the UN’s COP 22 climate conference in Marrakech, the international community closed ranks despite (or perhaps because of?) the election of Donald Trump as the next U.S. president.

By Lili Fuhr, Liane Schalatek, Simon Ilse

Marrakech: modest progress on loss and damage, but more on the horizon

Marrakech was never going to write history on loss and damage in the same way that Paris did in 2015. Whilst the progress made in the Paris Agreement was tangible at Marrakech, rich countries didn’t allow a real breakthrough yet. The Marrakech talks did, however, lay some groundwork for future progress.

By Julie-Anne Richards

10 Things to Know About Climate Finance in 2016

These graphics highlight the ten most noteworthy insights from joint effort by the Heinrich Böll Stiftung North America and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) over the past year from monitoring climate finance on Climate Funds Update (CFU).

Climate Governance and the Role of Climate Finance in Morocco


As a country very vulnerable to climate change impacts, Morocco, the host of COP22, has very high climate ambitions and has taken on a global leadership role in committing to a renewable energy future. This study explores what role climate finance has played to allow Morocco to act as a trendsetter and how its climate finance governance can be further improved.  

Morocco Must Breathe Life into the Paris Agreement

At the UN climate summit in Morocco from November 7 - 18 (COP 22), the global climate community aims to breathe life into the Paris Agreement. However, the real discussion about the most contentious points, including finance and what to do with loss & damage, begins only now in earnest.
By Liane Schalatek, Lili Fuhr, Simon Ilse

Mutually Reinforcing: Climate Justice, Equitable Climate Finance and the Right to Development

Thirty years ago, in 1986, before the world's attention focused on climate change as the defining existential challenge of our times, the Declaration on the Right to Development was adopted. This article explores the timeliness of using the right to development as an ethical framework for climate finance provision in line with the concept of climate justice. 

By Liane Schalatek

What it Will Take to Strengthen Gender-mainstreaming in the UNFCCC

As the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change contemplates enhancing its ongoing work program on gender at the next climate summit in Marrakesh in November (COP 22), a submission by hbs North America recommends key goals and principles to really advance gender mainstreaming in the climate process and in implementing climate actions.

By Liane Schalatek

Why Are Gender Considerations Key for Climate Finance Actions?

On Thursday March 17th at the U.N.’s 60th Commission on the Status of Women,  hbs North America led a parallel event entitled “Why Are Gender Considerations Key for Climate Finance Actions?” Here is a quick peek into the outcomes of the discussion. 

By Liane Schalatek, Beverly Harp

Fact Sheets for Civil Society on the Green Climate Fund

What is the Green Climate Fund? Is it gender-responsive? Will communities profit directly from its funding? How will civil society groups find out if the GCF is funding a project in their country or community? These are some of the questions that this set of five easy-to-read fact sheets answers in straightforward understandable language.  

By Liane Schalatek

Beyond Paris: avoiding the trap of carbon metrics

Instead of changing our economic system to make it fit within the natural limits of the planet, we are redefining nature so that it fits within the economic system.
By Lili Fuhr, Camila Moreno, Daniel Speich Chassé

Climate change goes to court

Some twenty-four years after the adoption of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), a lot has been done to advance climate change law, both internationally and in Germany and the European Union. However, neither international law nor national law have been able to achieve true progress. Global emissions continue to rise, and the anticipated impacts of climate change are now becoming reality. 

By Dr. Roda Verheyen

The Carbon Levy Project

More than two thirds of anthropogenic GHG emissions are caused by only 90 companies. These oil, coal and gas companies are reaping exorbitant profits and are getting huge government subsidies. It’s time to make them pay a levy for the loss and damage they cause. A proposal from the Climate Justice Programme (CJP).

Climate Change Denial—a thing of the past?

The history of climate policy is also one of the massive sway of the energy industry lobby. More recently, however, that lobby is having to surrender its forts- is dirty business losing its sway on politics? 

By Hans Verolme

COP 21 and the Paris Agreement: A Force Awakened


The acceptance of the Paris Agreement is a historic moment and sends a powerful signal that structural transformation on a global scale is possible. However, when judged against the enormity of the challenge and the needs and pressure from people on the ground, it is still a disappointment. 

COP 21 and the Paris Agreement: A Force Awakened

Globally, political leaders are lauding the acceptance of the global and legally binding Paris Agreement on Climate Change at COP 21 as a historical moment. It achieves a goal long believed unattainable. However, judged against the enormity of the challenge and the needs and pressure from people on the ground demanding a global deal anchored in climate justice (“system change, not climate change!”), the Paris Agreement can only be called a collective failure and disappointment. Read a critical assessment by hbs colleagues from around the world.  

By Lili Fuhr, Liane Schalatek, Maureen Santos, Hans JH Verolme, Radostina Primova , Damjan Bogunovic

10 things to know about climate finance in 2015

These graphics highlight the ten most noteworthy insights from joint effort by the Heinrich Böll Stiftung North America and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) over the past year from monitoring climate finance on Climate Funds Update (CFU).

Coal Atlas: Facts and figures on a fossil fuel

Coal contributes more to climate change than any other energy source. It is therefore of utmost importance that the world finds ways by which to tame King Coal, especially as international climate negotiations get underway in Paris later this month. The Coal Atlas - a joint publication by the Heinrich Boell Foundation and Friends of the Earth International - highlights new facts and figures on the state of the global coal industry. 

The turning point

Climate change requires urgent action, as hardly any government will deny. Business is also beginning to rise to the challenge. Nevertheless, the voluntary commitments being developed for the climate summit in Paris (COP21) are falling short.

By By Ralf Fücks, Barbara Unmüßig

Carbon Metrics: Global abstractions and ecological epistemicide


Climate change is framed as the largest threat. But is climate change more important and than the loss of biodiversity, the degradation of arable soils, or the depletion of fresh water? The way we describe and frame a problem very much predetermines the kinds of solutions and answers we seek. The authors of this essay invite the readers to take a step back and brush climate policy against the nap.

Could the Elections End Canada’s Carbon Capture?

 Since taking office in February 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has focused on turning this northern country on the edge of the Arctic––which possesses the third largest oil reserves in the world after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela––into an energy superpower. The strategy behind this––burn, baby, burn––is the proposed doubling of the extraction of oil from Canada’s bituminous tar sands, located primarily in the western province of Alberta, from the current 2.1 million to 5 million barrels of oil per day.

By Liane Schalatek

Despite the Paris Deadline: At its 10th Meeting GCF Board Must Deliver Good Decisions, Not Hasty Ones

At its upcoming 10th meeting from July 6-9 in Songdo, the GCF Board – despite the looming pressure of the Paris political deadline – must take care to deliver good decisions, not hasty ones as it feverishly works to get policies and procedures into shape for the first approval of project proposals in the fall. This does neither allow for thorough discussion, nor for dissent among their midst. An analysis by Liane Schalatek.

By Liane Schalatek

"Hurry Slowly” Toward Full Operationalization


The 9th GCF Board meeting in March made a number of key decisions, including the accreditation of its first seven implementing entities.  However, much important homework needs to be done, which is why the GCF should “hurry slowly” towards full operationalization and put important procedures for monitoring and accountability in place first, writes Liane Schalatek.

Can Addis start a Domino Effect for Raising Multilateral Ambition in 2015?

The year 2015 could go down in history books as the landmark year for turning around the world’s “business-as-usual” economic and financial system in ways that could lead to a sustainable future.  Or, it could be a year of cascading multilateral failures, signaling a further decline of UN-led efforts for sustainable development. When world leaders meet from July 13-16, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the third UN Conference on Financing for Development (FfD-3), the stakes are high. Fear and hope should motivate the outcomes of the conference. 

By Nancy Alexander, Liane Schalatek

Scaling Up Mitigation Finance Does Not Equate with Large-Scale Projects

Making mitigation finance more gender-responsive, requires addressing inherent biases toward large scale projects and a primary focus on the cost-effectiveness of emissions reductions over the realization of multiple, including non-carbon benefits in mitigation projects and programs, argues Liane Schalatek in a Bonn SBI 42 in-session workshop.

By Liane Schalatek

Making the Green Climate Fund “effective” soon – in a lasting way

The Green Climate Fund, striving to be fully operational by the Paris climate summit in December, missed its "effectiveness date" at the end of April, an important deadline giving the Fund the authority to begin making funding commitments. This analysis provides a status update on what the Fund needs to not only "open for business" soon, but also move lastingly beyond "business as usual."
By Liane Schalatek

The Adaptation Fund at a Crossroads

What is the future of the Kyoto Protocol Adaptation Fund in a new competitive environment that includes the Green Climate Fund (GCF) as a muscled and now well-resourced player in multilateral climate finance? An expert dialogue organized by HBS North America and the ecbi explores various options for the Adaptation Fund.

Radical Goals for Sustainable Development

The coming set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will seek to protect ecosystems, conserve resources, and lift millions of people out of poverty. But, though the SDGs will stand on solid legal ground, that ground must be developed further, argues Barbara Unmüßig, president of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung.

By Barbara Unmüßig

10 Things to Know about Climate Finance in 2014


Did you know that in 2014 the Green Climate Fund in a matter of weeks became the largest climate fund with $10.2 bn in new pledges? Or that the Ban Ki-moon climate summit in September galvanized over $200 bn in climate related financial commitments? These are just two of the "10 things to know about climate finance in 2014". This compilation of graphics is highlighting noteworthy insights from monitoring efforts of Climate Funds Update over the past year.

The Lima Languishing

The COP 20’s “Lima call for climate action” is no wake-up call but a worrisome sign of a feeble multilateral climate process plagued by political deafness and leaving poor and vulnerable communities alone with the impacts of climate change.

By Lili Fuhr, Liane Schalatek, Maureen Santos

Learning from Direct Access Modalities in Africa

In the climate finance arena, the Adaptation Fund (AF) has pioneered direct access. To date, six national implementing entities (NIEs) in Africa have commenced the challenging process of programming direct access funding domestically. This collaborative research report provides lessons learnt on how to strengthen the accreditation of future NIEs to the AF and to jump-start their engagement with the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

By Laura Schäfer, Alpha Kaloga, Sönke Kreft, Michael Jennings, Liane Schalatek, Fadzai Munyarad

Climate Finance Fundamentals – Update 2014

Updated just before COP 20 in Lima (Peru), this series of 11 short introductory briefings, written in co-operation with the Overseas Development Institute, discusses a normative framework for and gender aspects of climate financing, the evolving global climate finance architecture, the progress in operationalizing the Green Climate Fund, and looks at the scale and impact of thematic climate finance flows on different regions in the developing world.

By Liane Schalatek (HBF) and Smita Nakhooda, Charlene Watson, Sam Barnard, Alice Caravani, Marigold Norman, Neil Bird, Nella Canales Trujillo (ODI)

Success is More than Just One Big Figure!

The first ever pledging conference for the new Green Climate Fund will be held in Berlin, Germany on November 20th.  Anything less than USD 10 billion in confirmed pledges could be seen as a sign that rich countries are not supportive of the Fund and spell trouble for the climate talks in Lima, Peru beginning in just two weeks.  But at stakes is much more than just one big figure, according to Liane Schalatek.

By Liane Schalatek

Green Climate Fund - A Status Update going into the Berlin Pledge Meeting


This briefing, part of the HBF-Overseas Development Institute (ODI) briefing series Climate Finance Fundamentals, provides an up-to-date summary of the status of operationalization of the GCF after its last Board meeting in Barbados several weeks ago as contributor countries prepare to confirm significant resources for the new Fund at the first GCF Pledge Meeting in Berlin.  By Liane Schalatek, HBF, and Smita Nakhooda, ODI.

A Handbook of Climate Finance in India


This handbook has been designed as a guide for civil society groups and other stakeholders in India to understand the various issues around climate finance needs and flows, specific to the Indian context. Such knowledge and background information is essential to fulfill the potential of Indian civil society groups to meaningfully engage in the decision-making process.

The UN Climate Summit – Between the Rock of Ambition and the Hard Place of Reality

The Ban Ki-moon Climate Summit, with the expected participation of more than 120 heads of states and high-ranking government officials from over 160 countries, is not part of the official UN climate negotiations process. Nevertheless, when the UN Secretary General announced the special summit more than a year ago, he did so certainly in hopes that government heads would strive to display decisive actions and announce ambitious emissions reduction goals to grease the path to a new global climate deal post-2020.

By Liane Schalatek

Next Up: Resource Mobilization!


The 7th Board Meeting of the Green Climate Fund delivers key policies meant to signal that the Fund is ready for business in 2015. The “make-or-break” 7th GCF Board Meeting in Songdo from May 18 -21 delivered the essential operational policy requirements to start the process of collecting money for the Fund. However, more work is needed before the Fund is fully open for business in 2015.  A comprehensive summary report and outlook…

Takeaways for Europe from the EPA’s Clean Power Plan

To understand the importance of the U.S. EPA’s proposed regulations on carbon pollution, consider the political risk taken by Obama, its international leverage, and the implications for U.S. industry.

By Roric McCorristin

Carbon Majors Funding Loss and Damage


The world’s top-emitting companies should be made accountable for their role in global warming and pay for the loss and damage suffered in many developing countries according to a report by the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Climate Justice Programme.

Of Promise, Progress, Perils and Prioritization


The Board and Secretariat of the Green Climate Fund have made some progress in implementing the Fund's promise for a gender-sensitive approach to its funding.  A stock-taking after the recent 7th GCF Board Meeting reveals that there are perils to the full operationalization of the Fund's gender mandate and that some provisions and decisions supporting gender in the GCF should be prioritized in the next few Board meetings.

Post-Bali: It’s Crunch Time! – Report of the 6th GCF Board Meeting


The 6th meeting of the Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in Bali from February 19 – February 21, 2014 was meant to propel the new Fund toward full operationalization by year’s end. After Bali, however, this tightly timed goal is in peril. For the GCF Board it is now crunch time to deliver at its May meeting.


Taking a Gender-Sensitive Approach in the Green Climate Fund to the next Level: Recommendations for the 6th GCF Board Meeting


When the Board of the Green Climate Fund meets in Bali, Indonesia from February 19-21, the GCF’s mandated “gender-sensitive approach” is finally full-fledged on the agenda – and no longer treated under “any other business”. This policy analysis by Elizabeth Eggert (UNDP) and Liane Schalatek looks at options to integrate gender considerations into the operational modalities up for discussion and decision in Bali.

GCF Board Meetings: Related Reports

hbs North America has accompanied the process for the operationalization of the GCF from its very beginning, including in the design phase of the Transitional Committee, with analysis and reports for each meeting.

Making Progress toward a Gender-Sensitive Approach in the Green Climate Fund: Recommendations for the 5th Meeting of the GCF Board

As the Board of the Green Climate Fund meets in Paris from October 7-10 with a long agenda and the urgency to move ahead with far-reaching decisions, it is crucial that the mandate of the Governing Instrument's for the GCF to follow "a gender-sensitive approach" is considered in the context of the policies waiting for for the Board's approval. See a joint policy brief by the Heinrich Böll Foundation North America and the climate finance working group of the Global Gender and Climate Alliance.

Difficult Decisions - Deferred? The 4th Green Climate Fund Board Meeting wrestles with the Fund's Business Model and selects its new Executive Director


At its recent meeting in Songdo, South Korea, the GCF Board was faced with a number of ambitious decisions on the Business Model Framework for the Fund, with disagreements about the involvement of the private sector, access of countries to the Fund and what financial instruments to employ. Board members were able to agree on Heda Cheikhrouhou from the African Development Bank as the new Executive Director for the Fund's Secretariat.

New IPS-Boell Website on Climate Finance and Private Sector Intersection

A new website,, a collaborative project of the Institute for Policy Studies and the Heinrich Böll Foundation North America, is now online. It offers as a platform for climate activists and advocates who are interested in gaining a better understanding of the current debates about the roles of public institutions and the private sector in energy and climate-related finance, and their intersection.

Setting the Course: The Third Meeting of the Green Climate Fund Board Lays Groundwork for Key Decisions Later this Year


At their third meeting from March 12 - 15 in Berlin, the Board of the Green Climate Fund laid the groundwork for some of the most important decisions it will have to make for the Fund's future in the remaining two Board meetings this year so that the Fund can propel the paradigm shift to low-emission, climate-resilient and gender-responsive sustainable development in recipient countries.

Gender Equality in the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Where Does it Stand?


The post-2015 development agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have the potential to make a positive, long-lasting difference in addressing today's myriad of unresolved challenges and fundamental crises if they focus on gender equality and macro-economic policy reform. This paper analyses how gender equality is taken up in the post-Rio+20 process.

Operationalizing a Gender-Sensitive Approach in the Green Climate Fund


The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has a mandate to fund mitigation and adaption action in developing countries while "taking a gender-sensitive approach." With the Fund Board set to discuss and decide the vision, objectives and business model for the Fund, this paper makes a case for mainstreaming gender into the processes and financing of the GCF in conjunction with these decisions.

Democracy, Democratization and Climate Change

Relationships between democracy and more particularly democratization on the one side and climate change and responses to that on the other are underexplored in the two literatures on democratization and climate change. A special issue of the journal DEMOCRATIZATION, with contributions by several Heinrich Böll Foundation authors, explores a variety of facets of this complex and interdependent relationship.

Climate - Migration - Security

Growing evidence of links between climate change, migration, and conflict raise plenty of reasons for concern and it’s time to start thinking about new answers to these multifaceted crisis scenarios. - New report on Climate Change, Migration, and Conflict in South Asia!

Seasons of Change

The State of Qatar is hosting the 18th Conference of the Parties (COP 18) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Doha from November 26 to December 7, 2012. This webdossier compiles analysis and perspectives from the the Heinrich Böll Stiftung and its partners on how climate change, resource and energy politics relate to political and social change.

From Ignorance to Inclusion

Gender-Responsive Multilateral Adaptation Investments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region – This study analyses how gender-responsive multilateral adaptation projects in the MENA region are, finding and discussing both best and worst practice examples. The authors demands that multilateral institutions in all their MENA adaptation projects implement gender safeguard policies consistent with existing international conventions and instruments on gender equality.

CSO Submissions and Advocacy Calls

hbs Washington, DC and other civil society organizations have been active in shaping the GCF's operations, striving for fair, gender-equitable and transformational outcomes. Read CSO submissions to the GCF and CSO public advocacy calls here. 

Taking Charge: Summary of first Green Climate Fund Board Meeting

At its historic first meeting from August 23-25 in Geneva, the 24 members of the new Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) officially took charge, eager to decide the direction of the Fund and regain momentum as the Board begins the complex and ambitious work of fully operationalizing the GCF by early 2014.

Democratizing Financing for Sustainable Development: Gender Equality is the Key

Twenty years after global leaders convened for the Earth Summit, governments meet again at Rio+20 to explore new approaches to address many of the same unresolved problems of inequities, persisting poverty and ecological overexploitation. Unfortunately, too little has changed and ecological conditions have worsened.

By Liane Schalatek

Closing the Gender Equality Gap in Southern Africa

Twenty years after the first United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), delegates meet again in Rio de Janeiro to give sustainable development a ‘new boost’. The Rio+20 is regarded as important for renewing the political commitment for sustainable development, providing an opportunity for global actors to assess progress and gaps in already agreed outcomes of major sustainable development summits, and to collectively address emerging issues.

By Kulthoum Omari

The Feminist Movement and Rio+20

The  obscurity of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development is not a coincidence, but part of a process that is designed to deflate the importance of the negotiations and of the UN itself in order to facilitate private sector initiatives and the control of large transnational corporations.

By Graciela Rodriguez

Rethinking the Climate Grant: Mobilizing Climate Finance for Women-led Adaptation Work

A 2011 report from Climate Policy Institute (CPI) estimates that up to now 95 percent (or US$ 92.5 billion) of global financial flows earmarked for climate up were flowing toward renewable-intensive mitigation activities, while only five percent (or US$ 4.4 billion) were directed toward adaptation work under the current financial architecture. By Azita Azargoshasb

Dossier: Fairness in a Finite World – Rio+20 and Beyond

20 years after the first Earth Summit, the international community will gather once more in Rio de Janeiro from the 20th to the 22th of June 2012. But for a greener, more equitable and more resource efficient world mere declarations will not be enough. A serious shift in priorities is needed. A greener economy is possible, but it needs to be socially just, gender equitable and democratic.

Gender Relations and Women’s Vulnerability to Climate Change

Recognizing the significance of inequitable gender relations for women’s vulnerability to climate change, this study analyzes if and how an adaptation measure involving a relocation program that gives titles to new public housing to women implemented in response to severe flooding in the Mexican state of Tabasco in 2007, has contributed to modifying gender relations and strengthening gender equality.

European Climate Leadership – Durban and Beyond - Global Climate


Can Europe assert leadership on climate change in light of its myriad problems? The EU was key in shaping the outcome of the last UNFCCC negotiations, the so-called Durban Platform. This paper analyzes the prospects for Europe to continue to act as a driving force towards a greener planet, both at home and abroad.

Lighting up Ladakh


Solar power has the potential to provide secure and reliable energy to rural communities in developing countries. This case study examines an off-grid project in India and assesses it implications for national energy policy.

Engendering the Climate for Change

The effects of climate change and current policy responses have disproportionately negative impacts on women. As part of the effort to address the imbalance, this research assesses policies and practices for gender-just adaption in India.

COP 17 in Durban: A Largely Empty Package

With negotiation time extended for more than 30 hours, the South African Presidency was able to conclude the climate summit in Durban with a "Durban Package" of measures. However, while agreement was reached - barely - many key issues remained unresolved, making the COP17 results in many respects "a largely empty package".

REDD+ Finance Delivery: Lessons from Early Experience

International funding for reductions of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation as well as for forest conservation (REDD+) has dramatically increased over the past few years. This ODI/Boell Foundation policy brief looks at lessons from the early experience, the challenges that finance delivery and implementation face and discusses some policy options for improvement.

The Complex Web of Climate Finance Decisions in Durban

By some counts no less than eight distinct climate finance decisions are expected at COP 17 in Durban, making the climate finance cluster one of the most crucial ones to address in South Africa. Solving the complex web of interlocking climate finance decisions in Durban also holds the key to unlocking progress in other areas, as this commentary explains.

Civil Climate Change Activism in China – More than Meets the Eye


Transitioning towards a low-carbon economy requires the active engagement of civil society. This report explores the growing role of Chinese environmental NGOs in pushing aggressive climate targets and how the Chinese government enhances these efforts to implement ambitious climate change and renewable energy action.

German Greens Want to Strengthen Transatlantic Cooperation on Climate Change

The German Green Party suggests turning climate change cooperation into a strategic priority in the transatlantic relationships. This is the core demand of the motion 17/7356 passed by the Greens in the parliament, the Deutscher Bundestag. Though Congress is so far not acting on climate change, there are other pillars in the US society to connect to and foster collaboration and mutual learning across the Atlantic. One of the vehicles for this is the Transatlantic Climate Bridge of the German government that should be strengthened, according to the resolution of the Greens.

Climate Finance in Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Sahara Africa as a region already has been hit hardest by climate change, yet so far has received little of the financial resources it needs to adapt and cope with climate change impacts. This policy brief looks at the state of play of climate finance delivery to the continent, discusses the role of important actors in the region and addresses the problems that hamper a more equitable and effective climate finance delivery to the region.

Ready to be Africa’s Climate Bank?

In early 2011, the African Development Bank (AfDB) indicated its intention to establish and manage an Africa Green Fund to support African states that individually lack the knowledge and technology to secure needed global climate funds. This mapping study evaluates the AfDB's actual track record on sectors and initiatives related to climate change as a clue to the Bank’s suitability to manage any future infusions of funds to address climate change in Africa.


No Romance. Mobilizing Climate Finance for Africa

Climate finance has recently become a subject of profound interest to the global debates on climate change. At this year’s 17th UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP) in Durban, climate finance is expected to feature prominently. This being the “African COP”, we hope that the African perspective on climate finance will receive the attention it deserves.

A Future for International Climate Politics - Global Climate


Two years after the Copenhagen summit, the real world is moving away from a safe and equitable climate future faster than ever. If the G-20 is “the premier forum for international economic development” and we are serious about stopping climate change, we have to ensure that G-20 politics do not undermine our objectives for the climate, the environment, poverty eradica-tion, and global justice.

Relevant GCF Publications by CSO Partners

A growing coalition of international civil society organizations works with constructive input and analysis to make the GCF the best multilateral climate fund possible.  Read some of our partners' publications here.

Gender and Climate Finance: Double Mainstreaming for Sustainable Development

Climate change is not gender-neutral. Suffering from gender-based vulnerabilities to climate change, women are more often victims of climate change than men; however, women also possess knowledge of and experiences in capacities to mitigate as well as strategies to cope and adapt, which makes them important “agents of change” in the fight against global warming.

Engendering the Green Climate Fund

Gender considerations are currently not systematically addressed in existing climate financing instruments; where gender appears, it is in bits and pieces. This is where the Green Climate Fund, currently designed by the 40 members of the Transitional Committee, has a chance to do better.

The Design Process for the Green Climate Fund: Lots of Disagreement, Little Time

With three out of four scheduled meetings of the Transitional Committee tasked with designing the new Green Climate Fund now completed after the recent meeting in Geneva, severe differences remain between the 25 developing countries and the 15 developed countries about form and functions of the Fund. The road to Durban remains bumpy, and TC members have little time to cover a lot of distance.

Workshop: Women and Climate Change

Presentation of winning essays

"Impact of the climate crisis on the lives of women in region of Santander, Colombia" by Claudia Gimena Roa
"Women at war, nature at peace" by Irina Tasias i Compte

By August 12, 2011

From Scoping Options to Decision-Making - The Work of the Transitional Committee Going Forward

Half way through the work of the Transitional Committee (TC), the 40-member body tasked by the COP 16 in Cancun to design the new Green Climate Fund (GCF) for approval by the Durban COP, member countries at their recent second meeting in Tokyo focused on further clarifying important points of convergence and divergence among countries. Many of these, though clearly not all, ran largely along a contributor county-recipient country dividing line.

Funding the Energy Transformation at Home AND Abroad!

Observed around the world with varying degrees of curiosity, high expectations and hopes, skepticism, potential good will or schadenfreude, Germany has embarked on probably the furthest reaching energy transformation of any industrialized country by its recent government decision to phase out nuclear energy by 2022.

NGOs in the Climate Crisis

For many years, the belief has survived that we are one global civil society, which – in a historic mission – will save the world in light of the universal failure of state policies. This position is experiencing a renaissance, particularly following the disappointing United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009.

By Barbara Unmüßig

Reaching Boiling Point? Global Perspectives on the 2011 UN Climate Summit

South Africa plays host to the next UN climate conference in Durban from November 28 to December 9, 2011. This dossier provides an analysis of the major issues at stake and the context in which the negotiations will be held. It offers ongoing commentary and updates on major developments in the run up to the negotiations.

Obama, die Republikaner und der Klimaschutz in den USA

Im Kampf gegen den Klimawandel spielen die Wirtschaftsmächte eine große Rolle. Als Barack Obama zum Präsidenten der USA gewählt wurde, bestand die Hoffnung, dass die USA endlich an Bord der Klimapolitik kommen. Was aus den Erwartungen geworden ist und welche klimapolitischen Perspektiven sich in den Vereinigten Staaten abzeichnen, skizziert Arne Jungjohann in diesem Interview mit dem Münchener Radio Lora. By Arne Jungjohann

Grounding Green Power

This paper identifies key components of smart renewable energy policy in developing countries, focusing on the power sector. It also provides recommendations for maximizing the effectiveness of international support for deployment of renewable energies, drawn from these on-the-ground experiences in developing countries.

Marginal Oil


With conventional oil production in decline, the global oil industry is investing heavily in dirtier and riskier forms of unconventional oil such as heavy crude, tar sands, and oil shale. These investments pose a challenge to the climate, the environment, and local communities.

A Tentative Start for the Transitional Committee

Global negotiators and observers met for two days in Mexico City at the end of April to start their work of designing the future Green Climate Fund. This first analysis by Liane Schalatek describes options for and potential obstacles to the process.

Transitional Committee and the Green Climate Fund

More than 80 international civil society organizations and groups active in the global climate finance discourse, including the Heinrich Böll Stiftung, have jointly issued a set of recommendations to be taken account by the Transitional Committee, which is set to meet end of April for its first meeting to design the future Green Climate Fund.

Climate Adaptation Challenges from a Gender Perspective

On 22 February, the Heinrich Böll Foundation North America, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), Women Organizing for Change and Natural Resource Management (WOCAN) and the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS) co-organized a panel discussion on "Climate Adaptation Challenges from a Gender Perspective - CSO Messages for Rio +20."

Women who Go, Women who Stay: Reactions to Climate Change

Climate change is the biggest environmental problem currently confronting humanity and affecting all socioeconomic sectors in the country and around the world. Its impact, however, is differentiated by gender, economic, social and geopolitical factors. In this case study, interviews with women and men in six communities in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas were conducted.

27 National Energy Action Plans = 1 European Energy Policy?

This Green European Foundatio (GEF) publication is a first, critical look at six National Renewable Energy Action Plans submitted to the European Commission in 2010. These action plans contain detailed information on how these six European Union member states expect to meet their EU renewable energy targets, and hence provide great insight into the expected development of the European energy industry over the coming decade and beyond.

Principles Matter for Climate Finance

Liane Schalatek says climate finance decisions utilising public funds are not made within a normative vacuum. Comprehensive legal frameworks related to environmental protection and universal human rights exist, which together with core democratic principles must be applied to the mobilisation, governance and disbursement of public climate finance

Step in the Right Direction

Harmony marked the end of the climate summit in Cancún in December. UN members affirmed that average temperatures on Earth must not rise by more than two degrees. They also decided to establish a new Green Climate Fund and called for a timely follow-up to the Kyoto Protocol, which will expire in 2012. In an interview with Hans Dembowski and Barbara Unmüssig assessed the results.

By Barbara Unmüssig

A Matter of Principle(s) - Post-Cancun Update

This paper takes a close look at the status quo of public climate change finance post-Cancun and proposes the use of existing core principles and tools of international environmental law and human rights as the fundamental conceptual guide.

“Challenging, but feasible,….”

…. this is the condensed conclusion of the final report – recently released – of the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing (AGF), which was tasked with trying to find ways to raise US$100 billion per year by 2020 for mitigation and adaptation actions in developing countries. This number — far less than what many experts believe is really needed — was the sort of political compromise, the lowest common financial denominator, leaders came up with at last year’s international climate negotiations in Copenhagen.

Canada’s Climate Change Calendar

This report and calendar shows Canada's contribution to climate change in a global perspective. It is intended to provide a fresh perspective on the question of who is responsible for climate change and thus who must take the lead in delivering the solution.

Climate Change and Democratisation

The paper examines whether democracy at the country level and global climate change matter for another. It raises the question of how to support democracy’s advance in the face of multiple challenges that include the adverse effects of global warming and extreme weather events merits much more attention than it has received so far.

Geschlechtergleichheit – (k)ein Mandat für internationale Klimaverhandlungen?

Klimawandel ist nicht genderneutral und seine Auswirkungen sind längst eine bittere Realität für die ärmsten Menschen, darunter besonders häufig Frauen. Frauen sind dabei nicht nur Opfer des Klimawandels, sondern auch proaktive Akteurinnen, agents of change, mit einem bislang weitestgehend ignorierten Wissens- und Handlungspotential.

By Liane Schalatek

The American Way of Change

Researchers, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists go beyond politics to find, on their own account, openings for green energies.

Unlocking a low-carbon Europe

Climate change and the reform of the EU budget are the two priorities on the 2010 agenda: Will the EU be able to generate sufficient momentum for a budget reform, which is needed to pursue a low-carbon economy?

Germany “Recycles” Most of its 2010 Climate Aid

Budget cuts are painful, no doubt about it. In times of empty coffers and growing deficits some really hard choices have to be made. Too bad that one of the first cuts in Germany’s ongoing budget negotiations under the conservative-liberal coalition government has been to the credibility of Germany as a leading nation in international climate policy.

By Liane Schalatek

Opportunity or Failure?

If the Copenhagen Accord on climate change can be called a small step forward or a grand failure depends on the regional perspective. Two months after the Copenhagen climate summit, this paper sheds some light on the different regional and national evaluations of the conference and analyzes how perceptions on the outcome of the conference vary between key countries and regions.

Going Green. The Future has Begun

The green industrial revolution will, on a grand scale, create new products, services, and jobs. Although much remains to be done, the great transformation is on its way. In this collection of short articles, the authors debate the pros and cons of carbon capture and storage, the American turn to "green," and the questions of how economic growth and climate protection can be reconciled.

Gender and Climate Change in Southern Africa

Although various studies have focused on climate change impacts and adaptation opportunities in Africa, few have focused on the household level and in particular on gender differentiated impacts of climate change. This study, commissioned by Heinrich Böll Stiftung, provides an analysis and summary of the findings of eight case studies carried out in four southern African countries. Furthermore, the study aims to identify various policies, programmes and activities that could address these issues.

US Wirtschaftslobby: Der größte Blockierer gibt seinen Widerstand auf

chon wegen dieser Position hagelte es Kritik von Mitgliedern, fordern doch etliche Unternehmen in der USA endlich erste Schritte beim Klimaschutz. Doch es kam noch besser: Unlängst schlug die Kammer vor, ein Wissenschaftstribunal einzurichten, um zu entscheiden, ob der Klimawandel wirklich eine ernsthafte Bedrohung für die Menscheit sei.

By Arne Jungjohann

Climate Change and the Right to Food

The study proposes concrete methods by which institutions can address climate change problems and realize the right to food symbiotically, in compliance with the principles of systemic integration under international law.

Gender and Climate Finance: Double Mainstreaming for Sustainable Development

Climate change is real, it is happening already, and its impacts on people are not gender-neutral. It is affecting men and women all over the world differently, especially in the world’s poorest countries and amongst the most vulnerable people and communities.1 As women and men have different adaptive and mitigative capabilities, the financing instruments and mechanisms committed to climate change activities in mitigation and adaption need to take these gender-differentiated impacts into account in funds design and operationalization as well as concrete project financing.

EU Troika Calls for Transatlantic Cimate Cooperation

At a panel discussion organized by the Heinrich Böll Stiftung and the Brookings Institution in cooperation with the Czech and Swedish Embassies, the E.U. Commissioner underlined the transatlantic potential for setting international climate standards and moving the world economy towards a global green new deal.

Fairness in Global Climate Change Finance - Climate Finance

Financing for aaptation, mitigation and low-carbon sustainable development is a key building black fr a new UN global climate agreement. This study gives an overview of recent cosst assessments and proposals for funding sources and mechanisms.

New Finance for Climate Change and the Environment


The world has moved beyond simple acknowledgement that climate change and environmental degradation pose significant risks to humanity and the planet’s ecosystems. In recognition of theincreased vulnerability of billions of people, mostly in the developing world, Northern donors have pledged billions of dollars in new financial commitments. Those funds are to be delivered through no fewer than a dozen new environmental funding mechanisms seeking to mitigate these risks and to help the most vulnerable to adapt to coming societal and environmental changes.

How a Changing Climate Impacts Women

This is the report for a roundtable held on September 21, and which was a landmark event, one of the first high-level sessions to focus on the linkages between gender equality and climatechange.


We support a globally coordinated, just and equitable response to the challenge of catastrophic climate change, which affects the poorest countries and people the worst. Adequate, predictable, and additional climate finance and fresh thinking is needed for innovative ways to generate new funding for effective, efficient, and (gender-)equitable climate action, particularly for Southern countries. Our Climate Finance Program analyses  and monitors the emerging global finance architecture, especially public climate funds such as the new Green Climate Fund (GCF), and works to ensure gender-responsive climate financing.

COP21 & the EU’s 2016 agenda

GCF Dossier

Climate Funds Update

Climate Funds Update