REDD+ Financing

POLICY PAPER- Regaining Momentum: Priority Tasks for the Green Climate Fund at its First Board Meeting

Liane Schalatek

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is to become the primary multilateral channel for large-scale financing for adaptation and mitigation action in developing countries. When the newly selected 24 members – 12 from developing, 12 from developed countries – of the GCF Board will finally come together for their first Board Meeting in Geneva in from August 23-25 after an arduous nomination process created delays of several months, their most important first task will be to regain momentum lost since December. At that time, the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) had approved the Fund’s governing instrument and in an accompanying decision laid out some important deadlines and clarifications.

There are just a few short months left until the 18th session of the Conference of Parties (COP18) in Doha/Qatar, when according to the deadline in the Durban document the UNFCCC Parties are to endorse several GCF Board decisions, namely on the selection of a host country for the Fund as well as on its working arrangements with the COP. The latter decision especially could prove to be contentious and difficult, continuing to polarize developed and developing country members, just as it did during the design process of the Transitional Committee (TC) last year. It could be an early test for the new board’s willingness and ability to address politically charged issues constructively and in a spirit of mutual trust. Both will be needed to drive forward an ambitious work mandate – already under extreme time pressure – of more than fifty distinct tasks for the Board detailed in the GCF decision and governing document. That mandate contains many more technical and political pitfalls that the GCF Board will have to navigate successfully if the Fund stands a realistic chance to be fully operational – and receive sufficient funding – by 2014.

This briefing note attempts to give an overview over some of the priority issues the new GCF Board will have to address at its first board meeting as well as an outlook on issues it needs to resolve or at least begin addressing by COP18. The actual work plan for the Board for the next 12 to 18 months will of course to be much broader. Its discussion and a decision on how the Board plans to organize and schedule its task for the full operationalization of the Fund will take a good portion of the first three-day meeting of the Board in Geneva, August 23 – 25.

Please click here to download the policy paper