Green Climate Fund approves first eight investments to combat climate change

Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Héla Cheikhrouhou. UN Photo/Mark Garten

6 November 2015 – Meeting ahead of the United Nations climate conference in Paris, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board, announced today that it approved $168 million of its funding for projects and programmes worth $624 million, marking the end of its launch phase and kick-starting the flow of climate finance to developing countries.

In a press release, the Fund’s Board, which has been meeting in Zambia this week, said these new activities will generate up to $1.3 billion in investments over the coming five years. It noted that this initial batch of projects cover mitigation and adaptation measures; three of them are located in Africa, three are in Asia-Pacific, and two in Latin America.

“Approving these first projects is an important milestone, particularly for GCF’s partnering entities and beneficiaries,” said Gabriel Quijandria Acosta, Co-Chair of the Board. “This first review of projects has been an enriching experience for the Board. It has allowed us to reflect on the areas that need to be further enhanced to speed up support to countries that are already experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change.”

With climate finance being a critical element of global climate talks taking place in Paris at the COP21 in less than four weeks, the GCF is highlighting that the approval of the first project proposals marks a “major trust-building measure between developing and developed countries.” Countries reportedly have called for GCF funding to be delivered at scale to finance their national climate targets (INDCs).

“We have come a long way to build the Green Climate Fund capacity completely from scratch over the last two years,” said Héla Cheikhrouhou, Executive Director of the Fund.

“I am delighted that we have reached all of the objectives set by the Board for this year, culminating in approving the first full funding applications,” she explained. “There are many more projects under development in GCF’s pipeline, and we are at last starting to deliver on our mission to advance the global response to climate change.”

The Green Climate Fund, which was set up by 194 governments party to UNFCCC was given the mandate to help keep the planet’s atmospheric temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius.

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