GCF Board decides on resources to developing countries for adaptation plans

7 July 2016

GCF Board decides on resources to developing countries for adaptation plans

Delhi, 7 July (Indrajit Bose) – The Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) at its recently concluded meeting decided that the Fund’s Executive Director can approve up to USD 3 million per developing country for the formulation of national adaptation plans (NAPs) and/or other adaptation planning processes.

This was one among several important decisions taken by the Board during its 13th meeting on 28-30 June held in Songdo, Republic of Korea, under matters related to guidance from the 21st meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that took place in Paris last year.

Among the decisions included support for adaptation planning processes; the GCF and the Paris Agreement; relationship between the GCF and the UNFCCC’s thematic bodies; and complementarity and coherence with other Funds.

 Adaptation planning processes

The decision to support adaptation planning processes came after much deliberation through informal consultations among Board members and their advisers.

According to sources, the most contentious issue was around support for NAPs. It seems that while developing country members were arguing that the COP21 decision mandates the GCF to expedite support to NAPs, the developed country members were of the view that the current allocation under the readiness programme of the GCF was sufficient and that nothing more needed to be done, sources said.

(Paragraph 46 of decision 1/CP.21 from Paris reads: Further requests the GCF to expedite support for the least developed countries and other developing country Parties for the formulation of national adaptation plans, …)

After consultations over two days, the Board decided “to expedite support for developing countries for the formulation of national adaptation plans … consistent with UNFCCC decisions …”

The Board also decided that “given the urgent need to support and expedite the formulation and implementation of NAPs and other adaptation planning processes, the GCF’s Executive Director can approve, up to USD 3 million per country through the Fund’s Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme modalities, to support the formulation of NAPs and/or other national adaptation planning processes based on their assessment of country circumstances and needs and taking into consideration the UNFCCC NAP technical guidelines and the importance of coordination and complementarity with other national adaptation plans related initiatives and support”.

The Board also decided “that support for the formulation of NAPs or other adaptation planning processes should be established as a separate activity area of the Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme, specifically for the formulation of NAPs and/or other national adaptation planning processes, and that funding for this new activity area is additional to the existing USD 1 million cap per country per year under the Readiness and Preparatory Support Programmes”.

The Board also decided to “review the progress of expediting support for developing countries for the formulation of NAPs and/or other adaptation planning processes” and requested “the Secretariat to present their findings in their report to the Board on the Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme, including any recommendations for further action”.

GCF and the Paris Agreement

Co-chair of the Board, Zaheer Fakir (South Africa) said that extensive consultations with Board members had been taken by the GCF’s Co-chairs in arriving at the decision on the GCF and the Paris Agreement.  

The decision states that “current GCF modalities enable support for the preparation and implementation of the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and adaptation-related elements of the Paris Agreement”.

The Board urged “national designated authorities/focal points to work with accredited entities to consider how their national climate priorities can be submitted as concrete proposals, including under the Project Preparation Facility”.

The Board also requested “the Secretariat to compile an information document, based on the submission of country work programmes … and accredited entity work programmes, in accordance with the GCF strategic plan, for the Board at its fifteenth meeting”.

The Board further decided “to consider in its future work plans, how to support actions related to the implementation of the Paris Agreement, taking into account the business model of the GCF, its strategic impact areas, and guidance from the COP … and/or the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement once the Paris Agreement enters into force”.

Relationship with UNFCCC thematic bodies

On the relationship between the GCF and the UNFCCC’s thematic bodies, the key elements of the decision are as follows.

The Board decided “… to hold an annual meeting, … in order to enhance cooperation and coherence of engagement between the GCF and UNFCCC thematic bodies”.

It also decided that the annual meeting will be chaired by the Co-Chairs of the GCF Board and organized by the Secretariat on an annual basis to be held in conjunction with the UNFCCC COP.

The decision states further that the meeting will include the Chairs of the various thematic bodies, and the Chairs of the subsidiary bodies, the Presidency of the COP, and will be open to all members of the GCF Board and the thematic bodies.

It also decided that the outcome of the meeting shall be a written report to the COP which is included in the annual report of the GCF to the COP.

The Board also decided to invite (i) the Chair of the Technology Executive Committee and the Chair of the Advisory Board of the Climate Technology Centre and Network to present to the Board during its consideration of technology matters at the 14th meeting of the Board; and (ii) a representative of the Executive Board of the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries to present to the Board at the 14th meeting of the Board during its consideration of matters related to operationalizing REDD-plus.

In relation to the decision, Anton Hilber (Switzerland) said he was concerned about the capacity in the Secretariat and asked what results could be expected from fixed annual events. He also said that the Board would have to be mindful of hosting these events in conjunction with the COP and that it would be very hard to do these events during the COP. He also raised concerns on the outcome of such meetings, adding that the format of such meetings tend not to produce outcomes.

Complementarity and coherence with other Funds

In relation to the complementarity and coherence of the GCF with other Funds, some of the key elements are as follows.

The Board decides “to prepare, with the support of the Secretariat, an operational framework on complementarity and coherence to be considered by the Board at its 15th meeting, and as a basis for the cooperation of the Board with the Standing Committee on Finance.”

The decision reaffirmed “that the following key elements shall form part of the operational framework, …:

(i) Board-level discussions on fund-to-fund arrangements;

(ii) Enhanced complementarity at the activity level;

(iii) Promotion of coherence at the national programming level; and

(iv) Complementarity at the level of delivery of climate finance through an established dialogue.”

The Board also requested “the Co-Chairs of the Board, with the support of the Secretariat, to initiate an annual dialogue with climate finance delivery channels, commencing at, and in conjunction with, the 15th meeting of the Board, and thereafter annually and in conjunction with a Board meeting to be held at GCF Headquarters in Songdo, … with other funds in order to enhance complementarity at the activity level.”

Before adopting the decision, Ayman Shashly (Saudi Arabia) said that while he was ready to adopt the decision as presented, the decision could be more specific on what bodies were being talked about. He said that reference to bodies such as the Least Developed Countries Fund, the Global Environment Facility, and the Adaptation Fund was missing.

5th report to the COP

On the 5th report to the COP, the Board requested the Co-Chairs, assisted by the Secretariat, “to finalize the 5th report of the GCF to the COP … taking into consideration the comments made and decisions taken at the 13th meeting of the Board, and submit the revised report to the UNFCCC secretariat, no later than 12 weeks prior to COP 22”.

The Board also requested the Co-chairs, assisted by the GCF Secretariat, to issue and submit to the UNFCCC Secretariat an addendum to the 5th report after the fourteenth meeting of the Board and before COP22.

(The next Board meeting of the GCF is in October, just before COP22 in Morocco.)

Edited by Meena Raman

UNFCCC / Green Climate Fund / 13th GCF Board meeting
28 June - 30 June 2016, Songdo, Incheon, Republic of Korea
7 July 2016