Green Climate Fund clears way for $2.5 bln funding challenge
By Megan Rowling
BARCELONA, March 11 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The Green Climate Fund made progress in closing administrative and policy gaps at a meeting in South Korea this week, and now faces the uphill task of allocating $2.5 billion this year for projects to tackle climate change, experts said.
The 24-member board of the fund, which aims to become a major channel for tens of billions of dollars to help poorer nations develop cleanly and adjust to more extreme weather and rising seas, approved 13 new agencies to carry out projects.
It also agreed to raise the number of staff at the fund's over-stretched secretariat to 140 by the end of 2017, up from 56 now, and it adopted a strategic plan.
"The board has reached agreement this week on key decisions that help us deliver against our target of approving $2.5 billion in 2016," said Ewen McDonald, a co-chair from Australia.
That aspirational goal amounts to around a quarter of the fund's current resources of $10.3 billion.
The board has three further meetings this year, beginning in late June, where it will need to step up the pace of approving new projects.
The Green Climate Fund (GCF), set up by the U.N. climate change negotiations, has so far allocated just $168 million to eight projects, in a decision made before December's Paris climate summit.
Another 22 proposals for private and public-sector projects are now in the fund's pipeline. They will ask for $1.5 billion from the fund, to back activities worth more than $5 billion. Continuación...