Dear GCF Partners and friends,
We at the Green Climate Fund hope 2018 has started well for you and that it will be a productive and rewarding year. As 2018 rolls on, we would like to outline our plans for the next twelve months. The Board’s work programme for 2018 underscores GCF’s overarching priority of focusing on quality, while increasing efforts to move more funding proposals into implementation and scaling up disbursement.
2017 ended with considerable achievements in the global climate endeavour. The One Planet Summitin France during December demonstrated how climate action is being mainstreamed across all areas of society, especially in the private sector. In November, COP23 offered further proof we are making headway in achieving multilateral consensus to meet the Paris Agreement’s central goal of keeping the global average temperature rise below 2 Celsius, and as close as possible to 1.5.
But success is not guaranteed. The host of the One Planet Summit, French President Emmanuel Macron, warned “we are losing the battle” against climate change. At COP23, Executive Secretary of the UN Climate Change Patricia Espinosa highlighted how climate change is already manifest in the “severe and unprecedented natural calamities that hit homes, families and economies in Asia, the Caribbean and the Americas.”
And 2017 is set to be among the three warmest years on record. We share with you a sense of urgency that more needs to be done.
At GCF, our way ahead is clear. We will step up our efforts to assist developing countries adopt low-emission and climate-resilient pathways by financing climate finance projects and programmes as well as through our readiness support. We will expand our current portfolio of 53 climate change projects and programmes in 73 countries, which currently commits USD 2.64 billion in GCF resources to realise USD 9.2 billion total investment. This represents a doubling of the number of projects and programmes and more than a doubling of the funding committed in 2016.
Equally important, we will accelerate our implementation of approved projects. Since the start of 2017, we advanced from having two to now 18 projects that have received disbursements of more than USD 147.4 million, representing USD 596 million of GCF commitments. We will need to continue working closely with our Partners to ensure this figure increases more rapidly.
IMPORTANCE OF PARTNERS
The role of our Partners is pivotal to the success of GCF as we require their localised knowledge and expertise to decide where climate finance is most needed. So, in 2018, we will continue with the strategic allocation of GCF’s critical readiness programme.
This will include a focus on national adaptation planning and processes, enabled by an additional USD 50 million budget to the readiness programme approved at the 18th GCF Board meeting held from the end of September. We will also look for opportunities to support effective and impactful country programming, which remains the key tool for countries to develop nationally-owned and high‑quality pipelines of funding proposals for GCF support.
Extensive consultation with our Partners in 2017 strengthened our understanding of how we can improve how GCF works. We take note of the calls for GCF to not only speed up implementation, but to enhance the accessibility of our funds. Cognizant of this, the 18th meeting of the GCF Board decided to launch a Simplified Approval Process (SAP) pilot. This streamlined approval model for smaller-scale projects of up to USD 10 million is now up and running, with concept notes and funding proposals already in the pipeline. SAP will be a major GCF focus this year.
Another focus will be on ensuring that GCF support is strategic and well targeted. With the decision at the end of last year to introduce a USD 500 million REDD+ Results Based Payment pilot, GCF now offers financial support for all three phases of REDD+. GCF’s expansion of REDD+ support has repercussions for the climate change policy space, as it strengthens efforts to further transform this innovative idea to save forests and reduce emissions into concrete action.
During 2018, we will also prioritise our efforts to further mainstream climate action in private finance. The large gaps of financial support needed to help developing countries engage in paradigm-shifting mitigation and adaptation means the private sector’s role is indispensable. We have made some gains in this area.
GCF is now capitalising on the huge response it received after issuing a USD 500 million Mobilising Funds at Scale (MFS) request for private sector proposals in May. Thirty of the best concept notes have now been shortlisted from an initial pool of over 350. These proposals could mobilise over USD 10 billion in total investment, attracting private capital at scale to ambitious plans for low-carbon, climate-resilient development.
GCF has made considerable progress since it was set up by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2010. We still have a long way to go in achieving our mandate to attain the goals set by the international community to combat climate change.
In 2017, we built up momentum in our implementation of climate finance. In 2018, we will continue to build on that momentum, while also demonstrating our ability to deliver high-quality and impactful mitigation and adaptation outcomes in developing countries.
To achieve this, we will rely even more on help from our Partners. So our important wish for 2018 is that you will continue to assist GCF achieve what are ultimately our shared goals because climate change, like no other phenomenon, is a challenge we all face together.