Green Climate Fund set for launch before COP21

Somalia is among the vulnerable countries that currently receives the least amount of climate adaptation aid. [European Commission DG ECHO/Flickr]

The first projects of the Green Climate Fund could be under way as early as November. But the adaptation fund has struggled to meet its capitalisation targets. EURACTIV France reports

The Green Climate Fund (GFC) was founded to manage a significant portion of the $100 billion annual fund promised by rich countries to help the developing world adapt to climate change, but so far only has an annual budget of $700 million.

Launched in 2011, the GFC will take its first steps to fight climate change in developing countries in the next month.

“The GFC board will meet in November to discuss the first projects in the fight against climate change,” the fund’s executive director, Héla Cheikhrouhou, said at a meeting with François Hollande and Ségolène Royal in Paris.


“The projects could be implemented quite quickly after the board meeting,” she added. This could just give the Green Climate Fund time to become active ahead of the international climate conference in Paris (COP21), which starts on 30 November. It would also give a positive signal to developing countries, which are awaiting concrete progress on climate finance before committing to an agreement in Paris.

>>Read: Climate negotiations undermined by doubts over financing

The Green Climate Fund was created four years ago during the COP in Durban (South Africa), with the aim of raising $100 billion per year from developed countries by 2020. But its uptake has been slow, and donations have not been forthcoming.

>>Read: Green Climate Fund meets amid cash problems

But the international fund is “in dire need of finances”, according to its president. “The Green Climate Fund has so far been promised around $10 billion,” but Héla Cheikhrouhou said she hoped the international community would step up its commitment to the organisation, and give it the funds it needs to fulfill its role.

Of the $10 billion promised in 2014, only $5.8 billion have been delivered.

Stagnant capitalisation

“Today, the Green Climate Fund has a practical commitment capacity of $700 million,” the fund’s director said. She added that she is currently working to extract the rest of the promised funds from various donor countries.

>>Read: Summit prompts modest donations to climate fund

35 countries, including France, have so far contributed to the Green Climate Fund. “And the requested projects (currently 37) are fairly balanced between climate adaptation and mitigation.”

>>INFOGRAPHIC: Green Climate Fund – where is the money?

Negotiations on climate change began in 1992, and the UN organises an annual international climate change conference called the Conference of the Parties, or COP.

Paris is hosting the all-important 21st conference in December 2015.

The participating states must reach an agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol, the object of which was to reduce CO2 emissions between 2008 and 2012.

Reaching an agreement, whether legally binding or not, is the priority between now and December.

The Green Climate Fund was created during the climate conference in Durban (South Africa) in 2011. The objective for developed countries was to raise $100 billion a year by 2020.

An initial capitalisation objective has been fixed at 15 billion dollars for the next three years.

This money will be used to help poorer countries to limit their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change, but it will only go some way towards covering greenhouse gas reduction targets.

The global cost of cutting emissions to sustainable levels is estimated at between 500 and 1,500 billion euros per year. 

  • December 2015: 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) - Paris Climate Conference 2015

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