Asian anecdotes on accessing climate finance

By: Janssen Mozar Martinez

Yesterday, the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) in partnership with the World Resources Institute (WRI), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), launched an international climate finance event entitled South-South Knowledge Exchange on Approaches Towards Strengthening Country-Wide and Sector-Specific Strategies and Cooperation and Coordination Among Actors in Accessing the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and Climate Financing Overall.

The GCF is an international grants facility for both climate adaptation and mitigation projects. It caters to developing countries, particularly least developing countries, small island developing states, and African states. This two-day gathering of over fifty representatives from eight developing country governments from Asia, multilateral development institutions, and civil society organizations was meant for them to share their experiences and lessons learned while applying to access the Fund.

The first day shed light on the two types of actors involved in the GCF: National Designated Authorities (NDAs) and National Implementing Entities (NIEs). NDAs are government-appointed institutions or individuals that ensure that funding proposals are consistent with the proponent’s national laws and development plans. NIEs, on the other hand, are accredited to implement GCF-funded projects or programs. The exchanges revolved around the experiences of both types of institutions.

Among the main issues raised yesterday was the pressing need to strengthen the capacity of NDAs to enable climate-vulnerable countries, especially developing economies, to apply for the Fund. To address this, it was recommended that NDAs be involved in the development or enhancement of national climate-related development plans, which serve as guides for the formulation of GCF projects.

Another obstacle identified was the apparent difficulty of interested national institutions in applying to be an NIE, partly due to the overwhelming number of requirements imposed by the GCF and also due to competition from multinational institutions also applying for the same kind of accreditation.

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Despite some hindrances faced by some developing country NDAs and NIEs, whether accredited or prospective ones, the knowledge exchange has already proved itself to be a fruitful gathering as the participants were eager to share their experiences with the Green Climate Fund and to learn from others’. Events such as this are cost-effective measures to identify areas for improvement and build upon effective solutions to collective problems when it comes to the GCF.