News / 15 October 2013

Green Climate Fund one step closer


October 10th the fifth board meeting of the Green Climate Fund took place, this time in Paris. The Green Climate Fund is an international fund set up and commissioned by the United Nations in order to help developing countries combatting the negative effects of climate change. Possibly, developing countries are granted with an amount of $100 billion a year! Although the financial support is very promising, opinions differ widely on how that money should be spent. Therefore Anouk Franck and Annelieke Duma of Both ENDS attended, along with Titi Soentoro of the Indonesian organization Aksi! and Jorge Daneri of M'Bigua from Argentina, to make sure that the money gets where it is most needed.



At the first meeting in August 2012 it was expected that the fund would be up and running in 2014. Unfortunately, that is not the case. "It is a complicated and difficult process,” says Annelieke. "During this meeting, discussions were often tense and sometimes emotional. There are large differences between the board members, especially between the 12 members representing the donor countries (including the Netherlands and Denmark) and the 12 board members representing the interests of recipient countries. The biggest obstacle is that, while donors first want the assurance that their money is well spent, recipient countries ask donors to have more confidence and first provide them with sufficient financial support  “otherwise the fund remains an empty shell”.

Concrete action
Yet, according to Annelieke, there is enough reason to keep up the faith in the Green Climate Fund. "All members of the board feel the need to jointly take decisive action.  Therefore, various decisions are taken during the board meeting. Unfortunately, we do not favor all decisions that are made, but fortunately progress is made in various fields. To begin with, the proposal made by the Netherlands to see whether and how gender equality can be operationalized, is unanimously adopted by all members of the board. In practice, this means that women should be actively involved in the decision-making process on the financial resources that are used to combat climate change. Also, female entrepreneurs promoting renewable energy should be given easier access to these finance resources.  Furthermore, another positive decision is that recipient countries will receive assistance in order to enable them to meet the transparency criteria set by the Green Climate Fund intended to include all stakeholders in setting the national priorities.

Who decides what happens to the money?
"This is very important for us: if the fund truly wants to be groundbreaking, then the receiving countries need to have a say in how the money is spent. Not solely governments but also local authorities, NGO’s and other local actors need to have a say in this. Especially on local level, there are many good ideas on how to invest in the environment efficiently. For this reason we were very disappointed in the conditions for access that were set by the board. The board has decided to introduce

so-called 'National Designated Authorities' ( NDAs ), which in our opinion should

play an important role in committing all stakeholders to a dialogue about spending the money. But these authorities are unfortunately not subject to conditions that ensure that they will be capable to act like this. Also disappointing is the process that is proposed to set accreditation criteria and safeguards.  This process is totally not transparent and not open to civil society organizations and others."
Results in practice
Both ENDS will follow the Green Climate Fund critically and work hard on concrete proposals to get funding for local actors. And we continue to support our Southern partners to push the dialogue in their own country." Because that's what it is really all about", emphasizes Annelieke. "In those countries, the positive effects of the Green Climate Fund have to become visible."
Jorge Daneri of the Argentine organization M'Bigua attended with Anouk and Annelieke in Paris and wrote an article for an Argentine newsblog:


Original article in Spanish

Article in English


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