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NEWS: Board members sketch out an operational framework for the Green Climate Fund


After a week of heated debates in Berlin, the Green Climate Fund board reached an important agreement on moving forward with the fund’s Business Model Framework. Annelieke Douma and Anouk Franck, of Both ENDS, watched the drama unfold

The Green Climate Fund Board has reached agreement on how to move forward with the fund’s Business Model Framework (BMF). Participants at the third meeting of the Board, held this month in Berlin, Germany, identified the need to assess various options for how nations could access the fund, approaches for involving the private sector, plus ways to measure results and ensure requests for monies are country-driven. Papers analysing these elements in more detail will be presented at forthcoming Board meetings.

A previous, unsuccessful, attempt to start developing a process for the BMF had been an important cause of frustration among board members. A number of developing countries did not accept the level of the consultants’ budget, which was much higher than originally agreed. Developed countries, meanwhile, saw this objection to moving on as an attempt by some developing nations to block progress, and felt that holding up the process would lead to a loss of confidence in the fund.

Participants in Berlin at first seemed to end up in a chicken-and-egg discussion, with developing countries requesting clear financial commitment from donor countries before wanting to discuss the business model, and developed nations saying they had to present a solid mechanism to their tax payers and parliamentarians before they could pledge any money. Fortunately, the sense of urgency was great enough for the two sides to overcome their differences.

Another important decision was taken on the Rules of Procedure, which include the rules on observer participation. Most of the provisions relating to Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have been put in separate guidelines, allowing more flexibility for revisionAn audit is an independent, objective quality assurance activity designed to add value and improve an organization’s operations. It helps an organization accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to assess and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control ..., without needing to renegotiate the entire Rules of Procedure. Good news for civil society is the agreement that active CSO observers will receive all non-confidential board documents, as well as getting a place at the board table. There also seems to be broad support for webcasting meetings, allowing CSOs around the world to monitor progress.

So what of CDKN’s efforts to advocate for inclusive decision-making at national level and the devolution of funds to local actors? The GCF is designed to channel sums in tens of US$ billions per year, in pledges from developed to developing nations, and CDKN is funding a research project that aims to support the board by analysing how best to allocate resources among countries. Exploring local access to the Green Climate Fund. You can read more about this in Guiding allocation of resources of the Green Climate Fund.

It was clear at the Berlin meeting that the process is not sufficiently advanced yet for decisions on allocation to be made. However, it was encouraging to see that several Board members seem to support country ownership and are open to inclusive national direct access. We were especially inspired by the so-called ‘Delhi Vision’ from the Indian board member Dipak Dasgupta. He stressed the need for a country-driven process, and called for specific attention to be paid to those most vulnerable to climate change.

At the same time, listening to the views of other board members, it was clear that we can expect some difficult discussions ahead. We will be keenly observing how the fund moves forward at the next scheduled meetings in June and September.

For more information on the background to the Green Climate Fund, see The Green Climate Fund: Ready, set, go?

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