The Green Climate Fund – soon open for business?
The Green Climate Fund – soon open for business?
First things first
If the current GCF-negotiations will indeed show progress, this in turn could catalyse positive engagement in the upcoming UNFCCC climate negotiations. We are just one year ahead of the criticalUnited Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015, during which a new legally binding and universal agreement on climate needs to be agreed upon. Therefore, here in Korea, the GCF Board will focus entirely on the essential requirements that need to be in place before donors will even start to consider pledging money to the fund.
It is hard to say whether the Board will be successful at this meeting. Some signs are positive: for the first time, for instance, board members have ample space to meet in smaller groups. This will hopefully avoid some of the frustrating lengthy plenary discussions held at previous meetings, where precious time was spent on sometimes ridiculous issues such as whether board members can fly first or business class. Also, convergence on a number of issues is slowly growing.
Who gets access?
But not all is positive. Among civil society groups that have been monitoring the establishment of the GCF for more than 2 years now, there is great concern that some crucial issues are falling off the agenda. Especially ‘country ownership’ and ‘direct access’ - key agenda items for Both ENDS and partners - receive way too little attention. Country ownership means that developing countries, rather than distant funds, decide which climate projects to invest in. Under ‘direct Access’, national governments or their nominated national and subnational institutions receive international climate funds and disburse them to relevant projects. To ensure all stakeholders in future receiving countries have a direct say on how the funds will be spent, country ownership and direct access are crucial. Only this way the funds will end up there where they are most needed: on the ground where vulnerable communities need support to deal with the consequences of climate change and to get access to clean energy.
Turning the tide
In the current proposals discussed at the Green Climate Fund meeting, money will in a first phase be mainly channeled through international financial institutions or intermediate funds, which will make it more difficult for local authorities and organisations to access them and for countries to determine their own priorities. Lidy Nacpil from Jubilee South, whom I spoke to here in Songdo, said: “Well before the GCF was created, the idea was already to get climate funding to support the efforts of climate change institutions in our own countries. The GCF was set up for that, but the current Board documents are giving international institutions a huge advantage over local institutions.” A number of developing country Board members are expressing similar concerns, but the question remains if they can turn the table. The next few days will tell.
Anouk Franck is programme officer at Both ENDS and currently present at the seventh Board meeting of the Green Climate Fund.
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Event / 12 May 2019
Europe's future. What does it look like and, more importantly, what kind of Europe do we want?
News / 10 May 2019
Alfred Lahai Brownell, director of our Liberian partner organization Green Advocates has won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize last month. He is awarded for his efforts to protect Liberian rainforest from palm oil concessions. In the past, Both ENDS has worked with Alfred Brownell and his organization which filed a complaint against palm oil company GVL.
Publication / 8 May 2019
News / 8 May 2019
Organisations join forces against polarisation
A broad coalition of organisations has joined forces for peace, human rights, equal opportunities for all and a society where discrimination and exclusion are actively opposed. Under the name "Heart trumps hates", the organisations call upon the public to sign a manifesto and to vote against divisions and for connection at the European elections on May 23rd 2019. On Sunday May 19th an event takes place in Utrecht, where visitors can make a joint statement. People in ten other European countries will also take action on this day.
Press release / 7 May 2019
Brussels, 7 May 2019 - In an unprecedented Climate Action Call published today, a broad coalition is urging European leaders to take decisive action to respond to the climate emergency. Hundreds of European cities, regions, businesses, youth and faith groups and civil society organisations working on climate, human rights, litigation, mobilization, sports and health call upon leaders to profoundly alter the way we run our societies and economies to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C.
Press release / 6 May 2019
Almost 100 candidate EU Members of Parliament have signed a pledge drafted and endorsed by European NGOs and prominent individuals in which they commit - once elected - to promoting policies to protect and restore forests worldwide and to recognising and securing forest peoples’ territories and their rights, including the rights of women, for generations to come. The organisers hope to get many more signatures before the EU elections, to make sure the new EU parliament will start treating these topics with high urgency as soon as it is installed.
News / 1 May 2019
Amsterdam 1 May 2019 - Dutch pension fund ABP's 'sustainable and responsible investment report’ today suggests that the pension fund is well on track in terms attaining its internal sustainability goals. However, an analysis by Fossielvrij NL, Both ENDS, urgewald and Greenpeace shows that ABP remains on a collision course with the Paris climate goals. At the end of 2018, ABP still invested 16.5 billion Euros in the fossil industry. ABP's investments in the world's 44 largest climate polluters even increased between 2016 and 2018.
Pension funds have a lot of influence because of their enormous assets. Both ENDS therefore wants pension funds such as the Dutch ABP to withdraw their investments from the fossil industry and to invest sustainably instead.
Event / 13 April 2019
On Saturday April 13th, the annual Africa day will take place in the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam.
Both ENDS and Voice 4 Thought will organise a joint workhop (in English), titled:
'Positive vibes from the Sahel: from regreening to slam poetry'
Facilitator: Andrew Makkinga
The Sahel region from Chad to Senegal is often seen in the Netherlands as an immensely dry, infertile area where extremists and smugglers serve and where hunger thrives. But there is so much more to tell about the Sahel region.
Over the last decades, a large number of positive social initiatives have been taken up both in the cities and in rural areas. Initiatives that create and stimulate self-esteem, culture, education, climate resilience and prosperity.
Young people are often the driving force behind these movements, which is not surprising considering that almost 70 percent of the population in a country like Niger is under the age of 25.
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Hope to see you there!
Blog / 12 April 2019By Daan Robben
On Friday March 29 a special JWHi meeting took place at the Both ENDS offices, making the most of the unique situation having several grantees in Amsterdam for various reasons. The meeting facilitated the rare opportunity to bring together perspectives of the various actors in our fund: the advisory committee, the JWHi team of Both ENDS and last but not least the grantees from Kenya, Brazil and Colombia.
News / 12 April 2019
We asked three of our partner organisations to tell us how climate change is already affecting the daily lives of the people they work with, what they are doing to turn the tide and if they think the Climate Court Case against Shell can be important in the context of climate change. Sara Crespo Suarez of our Bolivian partner Probioma explains how the effects are already being felt in her country.
Press release / 5 April 2019
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Publication / 4 April 2019
News / 21 March 2019
We asked three of our partner organisations to tell us how climate change is already affecting the daily lives of the people they work with, what they are doing to turn the tide and if they think the Climate Court Case against Shell can be important in the context of climate change. Jahin Shams Sakkhar of UTTARAN (Bangladesh) talks about floods, salinity and (in)justice.
News / 19 March 2019
We asked three of our partner organisations to tell us how climate change is already affecting the daily lives of the people they work with, what they are doing to turn the tide and if they think the Climate Court Case against Shell can be important in the context of climate change. Ana di Pangracio, working for FARN (Argentina) tells us about climate threats to large wetlands, while these same wetlands are crucial in mitigating global climate change.
Event / 10 March 2019
On Sunday the 10th of March 2019 Both ENDS will be taking part in what is expected to become the largest climate march in The Netherlands as of yet. The march is organised by Milieudefensie, Greenpeace, Oxfam Novib, FNV, De Goede Zaak and the Woonbond and supported by Both ENDS and a large number of diverse civil society organisations. Together, we demand a safe future for ourselves, our children and for all people whose lives have already been or will soon be made almost impossible because of the effects of climate change such as droughts, disease, floods or food shortages.
News / 8 March 2019
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Event / 28 February 2019
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News / 27 February 2019
On Tuesday 26 February Both ENDS was surprised by a very special visit: the Dutch Postcode Lottery stopped by to tell us that Both ENDS has been chosen as a beneficiary and has been allocated an annual donation of €500,000 for the coming five years! This is great news for us, as we can now expand our plans and take them to another level. Our director Danielle Hirsch explains.
Press release / 12 February 2019
Amsterdam, 12 February 2019 - Fossil fuel giant Royal Dutch Shell is facing legal action from environmental and human rights organisations if it fails to align its growth plans with global climate goals aimed at averting catastrophic global warming.