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Green Climate Fund

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The Green Climate Fund (GCF)was established in December 2011 as per the decision taken by the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Cancun in December 2010. In fact, one of the significant outcomes at the recent sessions of the UNFCCC was the decision to establish and operationalize the Green Climate Fund.

The GCF has been designated as an operating entity of the financial mechanism, under Article 11 of the Convention for provision of financial resources on a grant or concessional basis, including for the transfer of technology to the developing countries for achieving the objectives of the Convention to counter climate change. It is guided by and accountable to the Conference of Parties (COP) which is the supreme body of the Convention. The guidance consists of policies, programme priorities and eligibility criteria.

As per the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, provision of adequate climate change finance by the developed countries to developing countries is a commitment/obligation of developed countries (responsible for historic emissions and causing climate change). Developed country parties have to mobilize and provide funds for addressing adaptation and mitigation at the required scale through the Financial Mechanism of the Convention.

The purpose of the GCF is to significantly contribute to the global efforts towards achieving the ultimate objective of the Convention – stabilization of greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Such a level should be achieved within a time frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.

The GCF will support developing countries in their efforts to combat climate change. It is expected that significant amount of the climate finance (the political commitment from developed countries is a goal of US$100 billion annually by 2020)—from developed to developing countries---would flow eventually through GCF. The GCF will support projects, programmes, policies and other activities in developing countries. The Republic of Korea has been selected as the host country to house its secretariat.

The operationalization of GCF is noteworthy from India’s point of view because it was India and other developing countries who insisted on setting up a multilateral financial mechanism under UNFCCC with resources provided by developed countries.

The GCFis governed by the GCF Board of 24 members balanced equally between developed and developing nations, a new governance structure. The Board of the GCF is now primarily engaged in developing the Business Model Framework and raising and mobilizing resources for GCF operations. The Governing Instrument of the GCF states that the Fund will provide simplified and improved access to funding, including direct access, basing its activities on a country-driven approach and will encourage the involvement of relevant stakeholders, including vulnerable groups and addressing gender aspects. More importantly, the role of Nationally Designated Entities in accessing the resources from the Fund is fully recognized. The Board of the GCF, among other things, agreed that the GCF should follow a country –driven and owned approach as a core principle while progressing its work on the business model framework.

In sum, why we need the GCF is to ensure the success of a globally cooperative effort towards a safer planet, and to ensure that developing countries continue to be on a path of a lower-carbon, climate-resilient growth to which they have already pledged in one way or another, and where development remains an overriding priority.


  2. Sustainable Development and Climate Change, Chapter 12, Economic Survey 2012-13, Government of India
  3. Dasgupta, D., Ghosh P, Ray, R. et al (2013) Delhi Vision Statement for the Green Climate Fund, Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India

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