Green Climate Fund wants developing country cash

Pressure on UN-backed body increases as it searches for initial capitalization of $10-15 billion

The GCF is expected to help fund clean energy projects in developing countries (Pic: Masdar)

The GCF is expected to help fund clean energy projects in developing countries (Pic: Masdar)

By Olga Dobrovidova

The UN’s flagship Green Climate Fund wants developing countries to consider offering it support.

Designed to drive investment in poorer regions of the world, the GCF only recently launched, and is aiming to raise between US$10-15 billion of capital from governments by the end of 2014.

So far Germany has pledged $1 billion, South Korea $40m and Indonesia $250,000 while Norway, France and the UK have also promised support, as yet unspecified.

In a statement released to confirm Germany’s pledge, the GCF said it was also keen to reach out to “non-traditional contributors” such as developing countries and philanthropic institutions.

“What matters is that we raise as much as possible, as early as possible, with the least strings attached as possible,” said GCF executive director Hela Cheikhrouhou.

She added: “During the successful initial resource mobilization meeting in Oslo, Norway, everyone recognized the need to move rapidly to mobilize money.

“This announcement by the German Chancellor sends an important signal to other world leaders.”

IN DEPTH: RTCC’s special Green Climate Fund section

The recent meeting in Oslo was attended by officials from the US, EU, Japan and Switzerland, along with seven developing countries Columbia, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Mexico, Peru, Republic of Korea and South Africa.

China, Brazil and India declined to attend, a move Henrik Harboe, Director of Development Policy at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told RTCC was likely designed to show rich countries they had to donate first.

Harboe added there was tension between developed and developing countries over finance at the Oslo meeting, which took place at the end of June.

The GCF’s plea is unusual as UN-sponsored climate change negotiations traditionally place the burden of financial donations and carbon cuts on countries deemed industrialised in 1992.

In 2009 developed countries said they would deliver $100 billion of green finance a year. Current funding flows remain low, despite an injection of $30 billion between 2010-2012.

India’s new environment minister has already warned that the success of the 2015 UN deal will depend on whether rich countries are able to deliver on their finance pledges.

Earlier this month Javadekar told French foreign minister Laurent Fabius that transfer of green technologies and funds for developing countries from the developed world would be vital for success at the Paris meeting.

According to the GCF, potential donors will meet again in early September ahead of a UN summit convened by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, where further financial commitments may be made.

Civil protest

Separately, 23 NGOs have submitted a complaint to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association, claiming civil society groups lack true representation at the GCF.

It says the board gives “more voice to private sector representatives than to civil society representatives” and has done  “little to ensure meaningful multi-stakeholder engagement”.

As a UN body, the GCF is obliged to involve civil society groups in its workings. Signatories of the letter include Third World Network, Friends of the Earth and the International Trade Union Confederation.

RTCC will contact the GCF Secretariat for a response on Monday morning.

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