Green Climate Fund sets first meeting as race to secure $100bn begins

By John Parnell

The first meeting of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) has been set for August 23-25 after a lengthy delay.

The GCF aims to raise $100bn by 2020 to fund projects to reduce carbon emissions and help vulnerable countries to adapt to climate change.

The current funding system expires at the end of the year leaving a financial vacuum that countries must fill at the UN climate change negotiations in Doha this November.

The GCF was meant to meet at the end of May but was delayed after confusion over the nomination process for its board that saw some groups putting forward more nominees than the seats they had been allocated.

“We are ready and set to go for the first board meeting on August 23 to 25 in Geneva,” said Henning Wuester, senior manager the GCF interim secretariat.

Speaking to Reuters Wuester said there also plans to try and schedule another meeting ahead of the talks in Qatar.

However, Swiss Environment Ambassador Franz Perrez told RTCC at the Bonn Climate Conference in May that the delay would not affect the work on the fund’s establishment.

“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.”

The fund is effectively empty at present with discussions in Doha expected to target an initial $10bn for 2013-2015 as well choosing a host country for the new body.  Poland, Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, South Korea and Namibia have all thrown their hats in the ring.

Video: Swiss Environment Ambassador Franz Perrez talks in Bonn on the Green Climate Fund delay

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