NGOs promote ethical investment as Green Climate Fund board meets to decide how to deliver $100bn to developing countries
By Sophie Yeo
Over 100 organisations from the developing world have written to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), demanding integrity and transparency in the allocation of funds promised by the developed world to tackle climate change.
The fifth meeting of the board will take place in Paris this week, as members inch closer towards the aim of providing the US$100 billion pledged by developed countries to help less developed countries (LDCs) fund adaptation and mitigation projects.
They wrote: “developed countries are obligated to provide the necessary finance to enable affected peoples to deal with climate impacts, build resilience, and shift to more sustainable, equitable low carbon development pathways.
“Similarly, States have the obligation to their citizens and all peoples to use climate funds for these purposes effectively and responsibly in a democratic, accountable, and transparent manner that respects human rights and does not harm the environment.”
They proceed to address the principles by which the Fund should abide when deciding on how to gather and allocate the funds for the meeting.
These include: the right of developing states to sovereignty and self-determination; the ‘do no harm’ principle that any funds allocated should not have negative social, gender, economic, or environmental impacts; and the financial integrity and anti-corruption protections that must be in place.
Lidy Nacpil, International Coordinator of Jubilee South, a network of anti-debt coalitions, who coordinated the initiative told RTCC: “It is a critical time, because they’re about to make decisions around this issue that is contained in the letter in these coming days, as well as in the succeeding two meetings in 2014.”
This is an important meeting for the Green Climate Fund, as the board works towards making the fund operational and raising the capital to meet its ambitious goals.
On the agenda is establishing the business model of the Fund, how the money will be raised and disbursed, options for measuring results, and the relationship of the fund to the UN climate negotiations.
The GCF remains hugely underfunded. While developing countries have committed to mobilizing US$100 billion per year for climate finance by 2020, so far, it has only raised $.7.5 million.
Even the $100 billion is a paltry figure compared to the $565 billion of annual investment from 2030 that experts predict will be required mitigate climate change, as well as an additional $70-100 billion to adapt to its impacts.
This has caused some to worry about the ambition of the Fund, and the upcoming meeting in Paris this week will be instrumental in determining the feasibility of collecting the requisite financial pledges at the UN climate talks in Warsaw this November.
“The GCF should be at the center of raising the more than $100 billion per year promised by developed countries to help communities in developing countries that face the worst impacts of climate change,” says Oscar Reyes, Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.
“It should be looking at how to harness innovative funding approaches like a Financial Transaction Tax to reach that target. Instead, we’re faced with more delays, a lack of a clear financing strategy, and a lack of money.
“To say this is an inauspicious start is an understatement.”
Karen Orentein from Friends of the Earth told RTCC: “Is there going to be money for the fund? I think that’s going to be a big issue. Hopefully there’ll be some progress on actually getting money into the fund so it can continue and build momentum.”