The Green Climate Fund is up for its first replenishment. Civil society wants developed countries to double their help
With 111 projects and programs worth USD 5.2 billion approved and project proposals for a multitude of this amount in the pipeline, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) has committed most of its available funding of USD 7.2 billion from its initial resource mobilization and is in the midst of its first replenishment round. From August 28th to the 30th, a second replenishment consultation meeting took place in Ottawa, Canada.
In Ottawa, representatives from 24 mostly developed countries and a small group of GCF Board members met to discuss the possible strategic programming and operational vision for the GCF during its first replenishment period (2020-2023) and determine the policies and guidelines under which contributors would make their financial commitments, and do so ambitiously and speedily, to ensure the uninterrupted operation of the GCF.
For the GCF to be a leading force for transformation and contribute significantly to the global efforts to address climate change, it has to maintain and expand its position as the main multilateral financing channel under the UNFCCC and the main financial mechanism to implement the Paris Agreement by assisting developing country parties in implementing their Nationally Designated Contributions (NDCs). The replenishment process must therefore send the signal that the GCF can act at scale and give developing countries the confidence to increase the ambition of their NDCs in 2020, when the commitment of countries to address climate change are re-evaluated. Many of the climate commitments that developing countries have made in their initial submissions are conditional on the provision of financial support by developed countries, which under the UNFCCC have an obligation to assist them with such efforts. Currently, the collective commitments of parties are not enough to restrict global warming to no more than a 2 degree centigrade temperature increase, let alone to limit it to 1.5 degrees. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in a recent report warned that there is only a short window of time left until 2030 to act decisively to curb global emissions to avoid the direst impacts of accelerated climate change.
Civil society organizations active in the GCF have therefore called repeatedly for developed countries to contribute to the GCF replenishment with their fair share for a replenishment outcome for the GCF that more than doubles the IRM resources. Some first commitments have been made by Germany, Norway, the UK, and France by pledging to double their previous contributions from the IRM. Sweden has indicated that it will soon announce a similarly sized contribution. Canada also pledged its support. Other developed countries, which supported the GCF in its initial resource mobilization efforts, notably the United States and Australia, have already indicated that they will not contribute this time around, while others, most importantly Japan, are still sitting on the fence. Further announcements of support are expected during the UN Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit in New York on September 23rd, with further pledges to be collected at a GCF Pledging Conference planned for late October or early November.
CSOs are therefore increasing their advocacy efforts to have many other developed countries pledge to the GCF swiftly and generously. And as the final replenishment outcome of the GCF’s first replenishment period (GCF-1) will only be tallied in December 2023, there is not only room for countries to change their mind from not contributing to contributing as they should, but also room for those who have already committed to take a second look for opportunities to revise their pledges upward.
For the statement delivered on behalf of CSOs during the Second GCF Replenishment Consultation Meeting in Ottawa by Liane Schalatek, CSO Active Observer for Developed Countries, see here.
For the call to generously pledge to the GCF by CAN International on the occasion of the Ottawa meeting, see here.