UNFCCC Executive Secretary Highlights Role of Climate Finance ahead of GCF Board Meeting, COP 24
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In her statement ahead of the GCF Board's 21st meeting, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa emphasized the Fund's critical role in helping developing countries shift to low-emission and climate-resilient pathways.

She highlighted three challenges facing the GCF: addressing existing policy gaps; accelerating the pace of GCF project implementation; and learning from experience and anticipating future requirements.

17 October 2018: UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa stressed the importance of a successful outcome from the 21st meeting of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board, outlining the effects that the meeting will have on the outcome of the UN Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland, in December 2018.

Espinosa made the statement ahead of the Board meeting, which convened from 17-20 October 2018, in Manama, Bahrain. Recalling her tenure as President of the 16th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 16) to the UNFCCC, in Cancun, Mexico, during which the GCF was established, she highlighted GCF’s critical role in helping developing countries shift to low-emission and climate-resilient pathways.

Proper financing can help advance the SDGs by addressing such issues as poverty, migration and equality.

Espinosa explained that the climate regime is entering “one of its most crucial and defining periods,” as COP 24 is expected to finalize implementation guidelines for the Paris Agreement on climate change. She said the GCF Board meeting will affect negotiations on the Paris Agreement work programme (PAWA), stressing that a successful meeting will send a “clear and unmistakable message of trust” to developing countries so they can have confidence in the finance process. She said proper financing also can help advance the SDGs by addressing such issues as poverty, migration and equality, and added that climate finance is not only about money, but also about helping those impacted by climate change, reducing their suffering and saving lives.

The Executive Secretary highlighted three challenges facing the GCF. First, she said existing policy gaps must be addressed, including the lack of a regulatory framework enabling a proper assessment of projects so that projects can be prioritized for funding. Second, she cautioned that implementation of approved GCF projects is too slow. She explained that, as of April 2018, only 26 of the 76 approved projects were being implemented, and only US$158 million had been disbursed, which represents 13% of the total value of projects under implementation and 4% of total GCF funding. She said the delay in the signing of Funded Activity Agreements for approved projects is slowing down project implementation.

Third, she said the GCF must “learn from its experience and anticipate future requirements” by assessing whether its policies have resulted in the desired outcomes, and to what extent they are aligned with the scale and pace required for successful implementation of the Paris Agreement. [Statement by UNFCCC Executive Secretary]


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