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FILM: Journey through the Green Climate Fund – Insights from Zaheer Fakir

The Green Climate Fund’s 22nd board meeting kicks off this week in Songdo, Republic of Korea. This new film from SouthSouthNorth follows the five-year journey through the GCF of former Africa Board member and Co-Chair, Zaheer Fakir.

Released this week, ‘Journey through the Green Climate Fund – Insights from Zaheer Fakir’ captures both personal and professional reflections from Mr Fakir’s experience as Board member and Co-Chair of the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

Mr Fakir contemplates how the climate finance landscape has transitioned from the “traditional notion of grant based finance” to something “much more complex” where countries need to better leverage other resources, such as from the private sector, pension funds and other sovereign funds.

As a result, he argues that the GCF is very relevant, as “the higher risk tolerance allows you to do the demonstration kinds of investments, which potentially may fail but potentially may be successful, and in that way then can catalyse and leverage greater action and greater flows of financing.”

Reflecting on his personal life, Mr Fakir makes the link between the bursary he received for his university studies – which was ‘risky’ as he was the first person in his family to go to university – and the successful career he has had as a result.

Having been a Board member for the last five years, Mr Fakir has been very involved in the operations of the GCF. However, he notes that, “Board members coming in now will look at, how do we take it to the next level?”

One idea for Southern Africa would be to establish a regional office to institutionalise the knowledge and learning on the GCF. “It’s a constant learning exercise… institutions need to be evolving in order to meet the challenge but also to shape the future direction of where we go.”


About the Green Climate Fund

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is one of the largest multilateral sources of climate finance that supports developing countries to address climate change.  Established in 2010, the GCF’s initial resource mobilisation saw USD 10.3 billion pledged. Since then, the GCF Board has invested approximately USD 4.6 billion into 93 projects in developing countries across the world.

The GCF is governed by a 24-member Board, which is comprised of equal numbers from developed and developing countries, representing the United Nations Regional Groups. This week, the Board is meeting for the 22nd time in Songdo, Republic of Korea.

About Zaheer Fakir

Mr Zaheer Fakir is the Chief Policy Advisor: International Governance for the Department of Environmental Affairs, Government of South Africa. Mr Fakir was the GCF Co-Chair in 2013/2014 and 2016/2017, and a Board member from 2013-2018.

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