People, Americas, Prosperity, Climate Change

Green Climate Fund approves new projects, new director

Responsible Business | Mar 11, 2019


The Green Climate Fund has approved US$440 million in financing for nine projects around the world, and appointed a new executive director, Yannick Glemarec, as the institution works to distance itself from internal disputes that led the fund’s previous head to resign.

The GCF was established in 2010 as a mechanism to bring together developed and developing countries to fund climate adaptation and emissions reductions projects. So far countries have pledged US$10.3 billion in funding, and the fund has committed US$5 billion across more than 100 projects.

A further pledging conference is due to take place later this year, and the fund has been under pressure to demonstrate its value and its ability to disburse money. Last July, the GCF’s executive director, Howard Bamsey, quit after the fund’s board failed to approve any of a slate of US$1 billion worth of projects that were up for review. Bamsey’s resignation deepened the sense of crisis around the GCF, which had already been the target of attacks from the Trump administration.

Barack Obama’s administration pledged US$3 billion to the fund, but his successor reneged on the promise with US$2 billion still outstanding.

The GCF has tried to improve the flow of projects by creating a new, simplified funding process. Two of the nine projects approved in February came through this new mechanism—both of them climate resilience initiatives. Among the approved projects are a US$100 million solar power programme in Nigeria and a US$96.5 million forestry scheme in Brazil.

“GCF now has a US$5 billion portfolio in 97 countries supporting low-emission, climate-resilient development,” Javier Manzanares, the interim executive director, said. “With decisions to ensure better governance, new project approvals, and a reinforced readiness programme, this board meeting has left us in great shape for our first replenishment.”

Glemarec is a veteran of the development sector, having served as UN Assistant Secretary-General and deputy executive director for policy and programme at UN Women until last year, as well as being the UN Development Programme’s executive coordinator for the Global Environment Facility between 2007 and 2012.

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