The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is a global climate fund created to respond to climate change by investing in low-emission and climate-resilient development. It takes into account the needs of developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
Switzerland is represented in the GCF Board and shares a seat with Finland whereby the Constituency also includes Hungary, Monaco and Liechtenstein.
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) was established by the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2010. Its mission is to make a significant contribution to the global efforts towards attaining the goals set by the international community to combat climate change. The Fund provides support to developing countries to help limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change, taking into account the needs of those developing countries particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.
Board Composition: 24 members (12 from developed and 12 from developing countries)
Swiss Representation: sharing a seat in the GCF Board with Finland whereby the Constituency also includes Hungary, Monaco and Liechtenstein
Available Funding: US$ 10.3 billion in pledges from 46 donors
Swiss Contribution: US$ 100 million for 2015-2017
Priorities and functioning
In order to maximise the impact of its funding, the GCF prioritizes investments in the following areas: climate-compatible cities, low-emission and climate-resilient agriculture, protection of forests, enhancing resilience in Small Island Developing States, and transforming energy generation and access to clean energy.
The Fund uses about half of its financial resources to mitigate and the other half to adapt to the effects of climate change. In addition, it strives to enhance the involvement of the private sector in order to mobilise additional financing.
The GCF works through international, regional, national or subnational Accredited Entities and intermediaries to implement its activities on the ground. By interacting with National Designated Authorities it ensures consistency of funding proposals with national plans and strategies.
The GCF is governed by a non-permanent Board of 24 members, equally drawn from developed and developing countries. The independent Secretariat in Songdo (South Korea) is responsible for the daily management of the Fund.
Switzerland and the GCF
Switzerland has played an instrumental role in operationalizing the GCF, notably by taking part in its design and setting up phase and by hosting the first GCF Board meeting in 2012 in Geneva. As part of the initial resource mobilization of the Fund, Switzerland contributes US$100 million for the period 2015 to 2017. It is currently represented on the Board, sharing a developed country seat with Finland and Hungary. At the domestic level, Switzerland’s engagement with the GCF is managed jointly by SECO, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). Switzerland shares the objectives and principles of the GCF and attaches particular importance to the following key priorities:
Increased investment in low-emission energy and enhanced support for sustainable land use and forest management
Strengthened adaptive capacity and resilience of the most vulnerable countries and communities
Enhancing the involvement of the private sector in order to mobilise financial aid to support the climate policy of developing countries
Ensuring transparent and inclusive procedures and the effective use of funding
Improving complementarity and coherence with other climate finance institutions and implementing a gender-responsive approach
Switzerland has played an instrumental role in operationalizing the GCF, notably by taking part in its design and setting up phase.
The GCF has signed contribution agreements from 46 contributors, totaling US$ 10.3 billion. The actually available amount is closer to USD 7 billion, due to payment delays, as well as currency fluctuations.
By April 2020, more than USD 5.6 billion in GCF resources have been committed to 129 projects and programmes. The Fund has 95 accredited entities as implementing partners, including the World Bank, IFC and Regional Development Banks. The GCF’s first replenishment process for 2020-2023 (GCF-1) took place in 2019. Pledges have been made by 30 contributors totaling USD 9.8 billion equivalent. The process for approval by the Swiss Federal Council is still ongoing. Switzerland pledged USD 150 million compared to USD 100 million for the Initial Resource Mobilization period (2015-2017).