11 July 2017
Climate Finance Update – Institutional News: GCF’s Disbursements “Pick up Pace”
Photo by IISD/ENB
story highlights

The Green Climate Fund announced its disbursements are “picking up pace”.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development reported a third of its investments in 2016 were “green”.

At the UN Ocean Conference, the European Investment Bank pledged to “respond to the needs in particular of SIDS, to reduce their vulnerability to climate change and assist them in building a more resilient ocean economy”.

June 2017: During the month of June, high-level meetings heard pledges by multilateral development banks (MDBs) and governments to work with developing countries and scale up sustainable finance to meet climate goals, and to support the resilience of small island developing States (SIDS).

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) announced its disbursements are “picking up pace” and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) reported a third of its investments in 2016 were “green.” This Update brings you news on these and other developments.

High-level Meetings Secure Commitments

At the UN Ocean Conference, held in New York, US, from 5-9 June, among the more than 1,000 voluntary commitments made by States and non-state actors, the European Investment Bank (EIB) pledged to “respond to the needs in particular of SIDS, to reduce their vulnerability to climate change and assist them in building a more resilient ocean economy.” The Bank declared it will “leverage support for climate mitigation and adaptation projects, as well as projects that contribute to the protection of coastal ecosystems and the development of a sustainable blue economy.” [EIB Press Release] [IISD RS Coverage of the Ocean Conference]

In the final communiqué of the Group of Seven (G7) Ministerial Meeting on Environment, which took place from 11-12 June in Bologna, Italy, ministers from the seven countries indicated that scaling up sustainable finance is “fundamental to achieve sustainability and climate goals”. At the meeting, the UN Environment’s Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System presented two reports that identify strategies for including small and medium enterprises and financial centres in “the sustainability solution” and for G7 and other countries to encourage financial centres to scale up sustainable financing. [UNEP Press Release] [UNEP-FI Press Release]

At the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment, held in Libreville, Gabon, ministers committed to investing in innovative environmental solutions and cooperating on several environmental issues, including improving women’s access to clean energy finance. They also affirmed the need for predictable and sustainable support to enable African countries to enhance their efforts to tackle climate change. [UNEP Press Release]

MDB and Climate Funds’ Events Engage Caribbean Countries, LDCs, Private Sector

In other climate finance-related events, the Climate Investment Funds’ (CIF) Trust Fund Committees held their June meetings, focusing on knowledge sharing among stakeholders on climate-smart development. The GCF organized a high-level Structured Dialogue with the Caribbean in Belize, which aimed to increase the region’s involvement with the GCF, including through identifying project opportunities, and readiness and project preparation support needs. [CIF Press Release] [GCF Press Release]

A three-day training, hosted by the Senegal River Basin Development Authority (OMVS) in Dakar, Senegal, focused on how to prepare bankable projects for financing climate change adaptation in transboundary basins. The event was organized in collaboration by the Secretariat of the UN Economic Commission for Europe’s (UNECE) Helsinki Water Convention with several multilateral organizations and donor governments. In Ethiopia, the Adaptation Fund, as part of its Readiness Programme, organized a climate finance access workshop aimed at the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). [UNECE Press Release] [Adaptation Fund Press Release]

Expanding access to climate finance for green growth-focused small and medium enterprises in Africa was at the heart of conversations at the 2017 Green Finance Conference, organized by the African Guarantee Fund (AGF), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) in Nairobi, Kenya. In Latin America, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and food corporation Danone signed a three-year partnership that will develop “sustainable, inclusive development initiatives in the region,” working in the areas of sustainable agriculture, recycling, watershed protection, clean water access and carbon dioxide (CO2) reductions. [NDF Press Release] [IDB Press Release]

World Bank Reiterates Commitment to Climate Action, GCF Focuses on Disbursements

In the flurry of announcements supporting the Paris Agreement on climate change that followed US President Donald Trump’s announcement that the country would withdraw from the Agreement, the World Bank issued a statement in which the Bank, inter alia, recognizes climate change as an acute threat to global development, and reaffirms its commitment to tackling the climate challenge and working with developing countries to meet their climate goals. [World Bank Press Release]

The GCF announced its disbursements are “picking up pace,” noting it had transferred a US$1 million tranche of an approved US$6.2 million grant to a project supporting Peru’s indigenous communities in preventing deforestation and peatland emissions through wetlands management. The Fund also stated it is “preparing further disbursements in coming months to get funds flowing to the 43 projects it has already approved.” The GCF also disbursed US$296,000 to Vanuatu in readiness support. [GCF Press Release] [GCF Press Release on Vanuatu]

The EBRD reported it had invested €913 million in green finance in the first five months of 2017, registering a significant increase to the same period in 2016 when such investments totalled €493 million. The trend is in line with the Bank’s target of directing 40% of its investments in the green economy by 2020. [EBRD Press Release]

June 2017 Resources and Opportunities

Climate finance-relevant resources published in June included: a study supported by the IDB and French Development Agency AFD that proposes a framework for mainstreaming climate change action across financial institutions; and Japan’s Green Bond Guidelines, aimed at accelerating issuances of green bonds and related investments in the country. [IDB-AFD Publication] [UNEP-FI Press Release on Japan Green Bond Guidelines]

The Nordic Climate Facility (NCF) announced its seventh call for proposals. In 2017, the challenge fund call’s theme is ‘Climate as Business – Testing Innovative Green Business Concepts.’ The call will be open from 28 August to 29 September 2017. It is aimed at companies or organizations willing to test an innovative business concept that contributes to climate resilience and/or mitigation and is implemented through partnerships between Nordic and local organizations in one of the 21 eligible NCF countries in Africa, Asia or Latin America. NCF grants, which can cover up to 75% of the project costs, will be available up to €500,000. [NDF Press Release]

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The SDG Knowledge Hub publishes monthly climate finance updates, which largely focus on multilateral financing and cover, inter alia, mitigation and adaptation project financing news and lessons, institutional events and news, and latest developments in carbon markets and pricing. Past IISD climate finance updates can be found under the tags: Finance Update: Climate Change; and Finance Update: Sustainable Energy.

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