GCF opens final 2016 Board meeting in Samoa
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi today opened GCF’s final Board meeting of 2016 and acknowledged the Green Climate Fund’s crucial role in empowering developing countries to deal with climate change.
The three-day meeting in Apia, Samoa’s capital, marks the first time the GCF Board has convened in a Pacific island country. The Board will consider nine proposals for GCF support.
After welcoming GCF to Samoa, Tuilaepa said that bringing the Board meeting to the Pacific provides an opportunity for Members to experience the realities, challenges and commitments of small island developing states (SIDS) towards addressing development issues and climate change.
“I am pleased to see that the Small island developing states continue to serve on the Board through Samoa’s Ambassador to the United Nations. I understand this is the first time the GCF Board has met in the Pacific, which is fitting and significant in itself.
Tuilaepa also pointed to the importance of a unified effort, saying that “global engagement is necessary to stranding together relevant issues and defining solutions”.
“It is heartening to know that the 15th Board meeting is first and foremost about funding proposals and we have been greatly encouraged to see the Board place capacity building at the core of the institution to ensure countries have the capabilities to properly engage with GCF.
“We look forward to the outcomes of decisions that will ensure efficient access to financial resources, such as through simplified application and approval procedures and enhanced readiness support for developing country Parties,” said the Prime Minister.
Nine new funding proposals, which have a broad geographical sweep and project focus, will be considered by the 15th GCF Board meeting over the three days. Samoa’s proposal is on climate-resilience.
The GCF Board meeting comes at a critical time for the Fund that aims to enhance its ability to forge low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways as it nears the end of its first full year of operation.
GCF Board Co-Chairs Zaheer Fakir (South Africa) and Ewen McDonald (Australia) explained on the sidelines of the meeting that the Fund had achieved a lot this year. Both also stressed there is still much to do to match the Fund’s ambitious mandate.
It is noted that during 2016, in the run up to the Board meeting, GCF approved over US$1 billion for climate initiatives and doubled its number of Accredited Entities.
The confidence is there for a scaling-up of proposal considerations for 2017, including the GCF’s ability to tap the private sector to leverage the Fund’s resources.
Other important business at this GCF Board meeting – the fourth this year – includes consideration of applications by organizations to become Accredited Entities, which help channel GCF resources to projects and proposals, and ways to enable easier access to GCF resources.
These moves follow guidance by the Conference of the Parties (COP) to GCF at this year’s UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech in November.
COP decisions serve as the key blueprint for GCF’s future activities as they set out requests from governments that are Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).