More than an add-on Cover

More than an add-on? Evaluating the integration of gender in Green Climate Fund projects and programs

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The worsening climate crisis threatens and affects all humanity, although not uniformly. Existing gender inequalities, resulting from persistent gender discrimination, aggravate climate change impacts. Marginalized gender groups, especially women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) people, will continue to be disproportionately impacted.

This is the first in-depth independent study by Green Climate Fund (GCF) civil society observers to analyze the extent to which the GCF, the largest global multilateral climate fund and the first one to mandate gender integration from its outset, considers gender impacts of its funding portfolio. GCF gender equality commitments are anchored into its core operational policies and detailed in its Gender Policy. Given GCF’s core financing role to support developing country compliance with the Paris Agreement and its Governing Instrument promise to “promote the paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways”, the study scrutinizes whether the GCF applies project/program (P/P) funding in a gender transformative way, essential to achieve effective, efficient, equitable gender-responsive climate actions. If successful, the GCF, with its diverse, comprehensive and growing network of public and private implementation partners, could signal to the broader climate finance architecture how to do so.

Since many of the young GCF’s approved P/Ps are in initial implementation stages, the study primarily assesses ‘quality-at-entry’ gender integration efforts of P/P documents submitted to the GCF Board for approval. It analyzes how GCF is fulfilling its mandatory requirement to address inequitable climate change impacts on women and marginalized gender groups and recommends how P/Ps can strengthen gender ‘quality-at- implementation’ to improve portfolio outcomes.

The study highlights the need for the GCF to ensure that all approved P/Ps: treat gender equality as a core determinant for successful implementation outcomes; avoid ‘sidelining’ gender considerations into separate unconnected exercises, instead connecting gender issues to climate, economic and non-climate environmental outcomes and other co-benefits; and ensure aggregate portfolio impacts contribute to the broader transformation the GCF is tasked to promote, including overcoming the still prevailing climate finance practice of treating gender considerations as ‘add-ons’.

A compendium document collates the 30 individual gender quality-at-entry assessments against the study's indictor framework for the GCF portfolio sample analysis of the 30 approved GCF projects and programs. It also provides, in table form, a pattern analysis of the sample.

Both the study and compendium are available for download.

Product details
Date of Publication
October 2021
Heinrich Böll Stiftung Washington, DC and Gender Action
Number of Pages
Language of publication