The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is a new global fund created to support the efforts of developing countries to respond to the challenge of climate change. GCF helps developing countries limit or reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapt to climate change. It seeks to promote a paradigm shift to low-emission and climate-resilient development, taking into account the needs of nations that are particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change.
It was set up by the 194 countries who are parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2010, as part of the Convention’s financial mechanism. It aims to deliver equal amounts of funding to mitigation and adaptation, while being guided by the Convention’s principles and provisions.
When the Paris Agreement was reached in 2015, the Green Climate Fund was given an important role in serving the agreement and supporting the goal of keeping climate change well below 2°C.
Responding to the climate challenge requires collective action from all countries, including by both public and private sectors. Among these concerted efforts, advanced economies have agreed to jointly mobilise significant financial resources. Coming from a variety of sources, these resources address the pressing mitigation and adaptation needs of developing countries. GCF launched its initial resource mobilisation in 2014, and rapidly gathered pledges worth $10.3bn. These funds come mainly from developed countries, but also from developing countries, regions, and one city, Paris.
GCF’s activities are aligned with the priorities of developing countries through the principle of country ownership, and the fund has established a direct access modality so that national and sub-national organisations can receive funding directly, rather than only via international intermediaries.
The fund pays particular attention to the needs of societies that are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, in particular Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and African States.
GCF aims to catalyse a flow of climate finance to invest in low-emission and climate-resilient development, driving a paradigm shift in the global response to climate change.
GCF’s innovation is to use public investment to stimulate private finance, unlocking the power of climate-friendly investment for low emission, climate-resilient development. To achieve maximum impact, GCF seeks to catalyse funds, multiplying the effect of its initial financing by opening markets to new investments. The fund’s investments can be in the form of grants, loans, equity or guarantees.