African countries getting ready for Green Climate Fund
The African Development Bank (AfDB) organized the first African stakeholder consultation meeting on the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in Tunis on 26-27 September, 2013. The objective of the meeting was to provide a platform for the African Board Members of the Fund to interact with their African constituency, in relation to the design and future operationalization of the Fund.
Key discussions covered a range of issues such as: addressing Africa’s specificities and ensuring Africa’s maximum participation during the Fund’s operationalization; lessons learned from other similar initiatives (clean development mechanism, global environmental facility, Adaptation Fund, etc.); and capacity development and institutional strengthening of many African countries in getting ready for the Fund.
The stakeholders reiterated the need for the Fund to prioritize a balanced allocation between adaptation and mitigation within the context of sustainable development. Drawing from Africa’s low adaptive capacity and high vulnerability to climate risks, the Fund was advised to consider large-scale investments in programmatic and transformative adaptation activities across multiple sectors, including energy, agriculture, water, forestry, biodiversity and health.
Despite the interest from participants to understand how the Fund would be structured especially along its core elements of the business model framework, the discussion was balanced with what African needs to start doing in anticipation for the Fund. The concept of ‘readiness’ generated much debate as regards the capacity of African countries to design institutional/policy framework with the required mix of technical and managerial capacities in order to meet the accreditation procedures and fiduciary standards for access modalities.
The manager of Compliance and Safeguard Division, Anthony Nyong, discussed the interest of the Bank in presenting itself as a multilateral implementing entity (MIE) to the Fund. He drew on the experiences and comparative advantage of the Bank in implementing large-scale projects which are contributing to climate-resilient and low-carbon development across different sectors in Africa. Nyong also discussed the support the Bank and its partners are willing to provide to African countries in terms of capacity building, technical assistance, knowledge sharing, scaling up of experiences as well as supporting technology transfer.
The Bank to provide leadership
Speaking on behalf of the Board Members, Omar El-Arini was full of praise for the AfDB for the initiative and that they have indeed learnt a lot from the insightful discussions with their constituency.
In his closing remarks, AfDB Vice President for Sector Operations Complex, Aly Abou-Sabaa, reiterated the interest of the Bank in providing the required leadership in supporting African countries to access these financial resources. He assured the participants that the AfDB will look into having future consultation meetings.
A total of 68 participants from representatives of the government, the private sector, civil society organizations, academia, UN agencies, and regional institutions and within the Bank attended the two-day event.
The GCF was established at the 16th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 16) in Cancun, Mexico in 2010 and approved at COP17 in Durban, South Africa, in 2011. With the goal of mobilizing USD100 billion annually to finance adaptation and mitigation projects in developing countries, the Fund seeks to promote a paradigm shift towards climate-resilient and low-carbon development in developing countries.