After delays and political bickering, a late August date was announced last week to hold the first meeting of the Green Climate Fund (GCF)—the ambitious multilateral funding instrument to help developing countries tackle climate change. We should expect more snags in the coming years as the GCF is pieced together before it is fully operational.
The GCF, proposed at the 2009 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in Copenhagen, is envisioned to amass up to $100 billion a year after 2020 of additional and sustainable funds. Through grants and concessional loans for climate projects, the fund is expected to finance mitigation and adaptation efforts in poor countries at an unprecedented scale. To put it in perspective, the largest climate fund today—the Climate Investment Funds under the umbrella of the World Bank—has $6.5 billion pledged for the period 2009-2012. The World Bank in total funds some $43 billion in development projects per year. The GCF could double that.