Green Climate Fund suffers blow as board’s first meeting delayed

By RTCC Staff

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) suffered a blow today as it was announced that its first board meeting had been delayed.

The Green Climate Fund will be used to help countries cut their emissions and adapt to the consequences of climate change through projects such as building raised houses. (Source: UN/Tim McKulka)

Then UN climate change agency, the UNFCCC, released a statement saying that meeting was postponed “pending finalisation of the process for nominations”.

The GCF aims to raise $100bn a year from governments by 2020 to be used to help countries mitigate and adapt to climate change.

The present UN-sponsored financing scheme expires at the end of this year leaving a three year “funding gap” until the GCF’s expected start date of 2015, a major focus of the ongoing UN climate conference in Bonn.

The threat of an additional delay to this start date could extend the length of this break in available financing.

However, Swiss Environment Ambassador Franz Perrez told RTCC that the delay would not affect the work on the Fund’s establishment.

Bonn 2012: Swiss say Green Climate Fund still on track from Responding to Climate Change on Vimeo.

“All that is delayed is the first meeting,” said Perrez. “I am confident that there will be sufficient time to do all the work necessary.  It will have to be more intense in the second half of the year. That could in fact increase momentum.”

Then UN has also reiterated that the next meeting will take place this summer, just weeks after the original was scheduled.

“The next window to meet will be the last week in June or first week in July, in Geneva,” said Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC.

“There is great enthusiasm from countries to be represented on the Board. While I would have liked to see the Board get down to work immediately, a short postponement to reach full agreement on its membership means it can launch smoothly and push ahead with the tasks before it,” she said.

“To ensure that happens, I ask governments to submit their pending nominations without further delay so the pressing work of the Board can begin,” she added.

While a month long delay is unlikely to create any serious problems, question marks remain over the nature of the delay and whether there are too many or too few countries seeking influence on the GCF board.

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