Green Climate Fund approves first eight investments
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board has approved US$168 million of GCF funding for projects and programmes worth US$624 million, marking the end of its launch phase and beginning the flow of climate finance through the Fund to developing countries. The activities supported by the Board will generate up to US$1.3 billion in investments over the coming five years. “Approving these first projects is an important milestone, particularly for GCF’s partnering entities and beneficiaries,” stated Gabriel Quijandria Acosta, Co-Chair of the Board. “This first review of projects has allowed us to reflect on the areas that need to be further enhanced to speed up support to countries that are already experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change.” The Board has approved an initial batch of projects, covering mitigation and adaptation measures. The projects include three in Africa, three in Asia-Pacific, and two in Latin America. The partnering entities for the projects include national, regional, and international bodies accredited to the Fund, from both the public and private sectors. The eight projects approved are: - Building Resilience of Wetlands in the Province of Datem del Marañón in Peru, with Peruvian Trust Fund for National Parks and Protected Areas, PROFONANPE (GCF funding: US$6.2 million) - Scaling Up the Use of Modernised Climate Information and Early Warning Systems in Malawi, with United Nations Development Programme, UNDP (GCF funding: US$12.3 million) - Increasing the Resilience of Ecosystems and Communities through the Restoration of the Productive Bases of Salinised Lands, in Senegal, with Centre de Suivi Ecologique, CSE (GCF funding: US$7.6 million) - Climate Resilient Infrastructure Mainstreaming in Bangladesh, with Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau, KfW (GCF funding: US$40 million) - KawiSafi Ventures Fund in Eastern Africa, with Acumen Fund, Inc., (GCF funding: US$25 million) - Energy Efficiency Green Bond in Latin America and the Caribbean, with the Inter-American Development Bank, IDB (GCF allocation: US$217 ?million) - Supporting Vulnerable Communities to Manage Climate Change Induced Water Shortages, in ?Maldives, with UNDP (GCF funding: US$23.6 million) - Urban Water Supply and Wastewater Management in Fiji, with the Asian Development Bank, ADB (GCF funding: US$31 million)
 
“The approved projects showcase the transformative impacts that GCF has been designed to deliver,” added Henrik Harboe, Board Co-Chair. “We have some innovative projects that have all satisfied our rigorous review process, including the assessment by the independent Technical Advisory Panel. The Fund is now truly up and running, and I am confident the Board will go on to scale and fund much bigger projects in the near future.” The Board also agreed to allocate up to US$195 million to the future phases of the Energy Efficiency Green Bond Programme in Latin America and the Caribbean, further mobilising an estimated US$630 million in private investments. “The energy efficiency green bond is innovative,” said Samy Ben-Jaafar, Director of GCF’s Private Sector Facility. “It demonstrates how capital markets can move mainstream institutional funds into energy efficiency. If replicated, this approach could unlock the capital necessary to address global financing shortfalls in energy efficiency.” The Green Climate Fund has completed the final element of the ambitious work programme targeted by the Board and has now moved to full operation by making its first funding decisions ahead of the UNFCCC Paris climate conference. With climate finance being a critical element of global climate talks, the approval of the first project proposals marks a major trust-building measure between developing and developed countries. Countries have called for GCF funding to be delivered at scale to finance their Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) objectives. “We have come a long way to build the Green Climate Fund capacity completely from scratch over the last two years,” said Héla Cheikhrouhou, Executive Director of the Fund (pictured above). “I am delighted that we have reached all of the objectives set by the Board for this year, culminating in approving the first full funding applications. There are many more projects under development in GCF’s pipeline, and we are at last starting to deliver on our mission to advance the global response to climate change.”
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by Nick Michell
Photo: GCF