Can the Green Climate Fund (GCF) set new climate finance best practice in gender-responsive operation and implementation? This paper, produced as a background document for an Expert Group Meeting (EGM) organized by UN-Women, UN DESA and the UNFCCC Secretariat in mid-October 2015, analyses the GCF’s potential, as well as challenges and obstacles to fulfilling this role and how they could be overcome.
Tasked to make an ambitious global contribution to combating climate change, the GCF is to promote “the paradigm shift towards low-carbon and climate resilient development pathways” (GCF Governing Instrument). How the GCF defines the constituent elements of such a paradigm shift and how it ensures that it incorporates the gender-responsiveness of its financing as a permanent shift beyond “business as usual” – namely by putting in place the operational policies, procedures and guidelines safeguarding men and women’s equal rights and participation in deciding on GCF projects and program and allowing them to benefit equally – is therefore of fundamental importance. Success or failure in the GCF’s endeavor to mainstream gender considerations into its operations will have a crucial signaling function for the broader global climate process and the way global climate commitments are implemented.