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FEATURE: Discussing the structure and organisation of the GCF

1. Direct Access to Climate Finance: experiences and lessons learned

Authors: Neil Bird, Simon Billett, Cristina Colon

Date: November 2011

CFAS summary:

This discussion paper provides an overview of the concept of direct access to climate finance and focuses on three main components of the public architecture used to deliver international public finance from global funds. The different institutional arrangements can cover the following functions: fund manager or strategic oversight body implementing body (sometimes referred to as a supervisory body) and an executing body (chapter 4). The role of the fund manager is to take funding decisions and to channel funds to the approved project proposals. The implementing body’s responsibility is to identify, evaluate, propose, oversee and appraise programmes or projects for the Board. The executing bodies receive funding to implement the projects. Furthermore, the experience with this financing modality in other global funds (the Kyoto Protocol Adaptation Fund, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI), and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria (the Global Fund)is reviewed.

Why we recommend this:

The paper analyses the different functions required to deliver an adequate institutional arrangement on direct access to climate finance. The paper concludes “…that direct access does not by default promote a more country-driven approach but requires a specific set of circumstances [e.g. strong national institutions and capacities] to do so.” These recommendations can be important for the design of the access modalities of the GCF. The paper also concludes that “…a “two track” [Direct access and multilateral access] approach that gives recipient countries the option of different implementation and execution routes perhaps better recognises the important synergies and complementarity that can be achieved.” Multilateral institutions could provide services in particular circumstances and alongside direct access or provide readiness activities that facilitate direct access.


2. The Adaptation Fund and Direct Access

Authors: Adaptation Fund

Date: October 2012

CFAS Summary:

The paper briefly describes the benefits as well as lessons learned that can be drawn from the direct access modalities which are applied by the Adaptation Fund. In particular the paper looks at how direct access requirements have significantly improved institutional processes in the 12 countries that today have applied those modalities. In particular, the paper points out that financial integrity and management and institutional capacity have been developed considerably in the countries concerned. In turn, those improvements have helped countries to better attract resources from other donor agencies. As countries are, by nature, competitive in this space, this may now serve as a motivation for further countries to take similar steps to improve their institutional capacities, in order to secure a share of financial resources.

Why we recommend this:

The paper highlights that the positive results of the Adaptation Fund’s direct access modalities are likely to assist the GCF in developing its adaptation options.


3. The Green Climate Fund

Authors: Liane Schalatek,  Smita Nakhooda

Date: November 2012

CFAS Summary:

The paper provides a brief overview of the GCF governing instrument and its operationalisation. It provides insights into current governance structures and also highlights ongoing discussions e.g. on the GCF’s relationship with the UNFCCC and the CoP. Further, the paper describes the legal personality, its operational modalities as well as gives details how countries see the role of the private sector. With regard to social and environmental integrity the publication underlines the need for transparency and a set of standards and safeguards. While shortly analysing the next steps for the GCF to take, the paper emphasises the strong need to secure adequate and sustained funding as “substantial pledges of long term climate finance are necessary to demonstrate real political commitment to the GCF and secure its viability.”

Why we recommend this:

The paper is relevant for the current discussion on the GCF as it briefly outlines the most important requirements. It can assist decision makers to better understand the different views of developed and developing countries, e.g. on financing issues, helping them to find pathways for consensus towards a functioning and well-equipped Green Climate Fund.


4. Designing the Green Climate Fund: How to spend $100 billion sensibly

Authors: Lorrae van Kerkhoff, Imran Habib Ahmad, Jamie Pittock, Will Steffen

Date: May/June 2011

CFAS summary:

This article focuses on the question of how the GCF or any other financing mechanism could be designed in a way that effectively supports and enhances efforts to respond to climate change, particularly among the most vulnerable and poorly resourced countries across the globe. The paper examines precedents that offer both positive lessons and warning signs, and drawing from these some key recommendations for the development of the GCF. For instance, the article suggests that the fund should explicitly seek to support measures with co-benefits across sectors. When prioritising measures to tackle climate change the authors point out that it is crucial to pay most attention to key adaptation tasks and projects that are already listed under National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and/or Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs). Last, the article recommends that instead of abandoning funding for poor governance, donor agencies such as the GCF should rather be designed to ensure that those countries are supported to build their governance capacity.

Why we recommend this:

The paper will substantiate current discussions on the GCF. By analysing precedents the article can feed ideas into how to best operationalise the GCF.

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