It takes money and ability to develop and deliver innovations that can limit the effects of climate change. But many countries don’t have the resources to do so.
That’s where the Green Climate Fund comes in. It was created to help developing countries mitigate and adapt to climate change.
The independent fund finances projects and programs proposed by developing countries and ensures transparent management. A multinational board established in 2012 — with 24 members representing developed and developing countries equally — oversees the fund.
The money in the fund is donated largely by developed countries, with contributions from several developing countries.The U.S., which has pledged to contribute $3 billion to the fund, made its first payment of $500 million in March 2016. Financial partners in the private sector can add to the capital through loans and investments in Green Climate Fund–supported proposals. Energy efficiency green bonds are just one way capital may be raised. Nonprofit organizations are also financial partners. For instance, Acumen, a nonprofit organization that raises charitable donations to fight global poverty, is among the 33 accredited Green Climate Fund entities who monitor specific projects. Acumen will administer a project in East Africa.
How do developing countries qualify for support?
Developing countries who are members of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change are eligible for Green Climate Fund support. Those most vulnerable to harmful effects of climate change are a priority.
Where is it working?
According to a 2015 Heinrich Böll Stiftung report, the Green Climate Fund is working faster than other similar funds for climate change mitigation and adaption. Eight proposals for Africa, Asia and Latin America have already been approved by the fund:
1. Making wetlands more resilient after floods, fires and other events that upset the equilibrium in Datem del Marañón province in Peru will help indigenous communities in the Amazon basin and slow deforestation. (GCF funding: $6.2 million)
2. Modernizing climate information and early warning systems in Malawi, and expanding access to the information, will protect residents from climate-related disasters. (GCF funding: $12.3 million)
3. In Senegal, where farmland has been harmed by salinization, a project to bring better planning, reforestation and anti-soil-erosion methods will restore and protect ecosystems and agriculture-dependent communities. (GCF funding: $7.6 million)
4. In Bangladesh, the fund will support new cyclone shelters and other protective infrastructure in a rural coastal region and will establish a center to guide infrastructure development countrywide. (GCF funding: $40 million)
5. KawiSafi Ventures Fund in eastern Africa will support off-grid solar power in that region, beginning with household solar technologies in Rwanda and Kenya. (GCF funding: $25 million)
6. Energy-efficiency green bonds, an alternative financing source, will attract investment to small renewable energy projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. (GCF allocation: $217 million)
7. In the Maldives, where communities suffer from climate-induced water shortages, a project will boost the supply of safe freshwater and ensure its availability to 105,000 people on the outer islands. (GCF funding: $23.6 million)
8. In Fiji, the fund will build and renovate safe-water infrastructure and sewage systems. (GCF funding: $31 million)
Acumen founder Jacqueline Novogratz, who uses philanthropic donations like an investment banker, said these types of projects are “how we create a world where we all have dignity, a world that’s truly sustainable.”