UN Climate Fund to be country-driven

- Executive Director

Héla Cheikhrouhou, the Executive Director of the newly-established UN Green Climate Fund has assured that the mechanism does not seek to be bureaucratic and developing countries can choose the projects they want prioritised.

“We will adopt a country-driven approach,” Cheikhrouhou, a Tunisian national, told a full house at the Pegasus Hotel on Tuesday evening, when she delivered the Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) 15th William G. Demas Memorial Lecture. “The Fund is now ready for business,” she said to applause from those gathered including Prime Minister Sam Hinds and Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis Dr. Denzil Douglas, among other dignitaries.

The Green Climate Fund is a new multilateral fund that was agreed by Parties at the 2010 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change conference held in Cancun, Mexico, and designated as an operating entity of the Convention’s financial mechanism. The Fund’s purpose is to promote, within the context of sustainable development, the paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways by providing support to developing countries to help limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change.

Héla Cheikhrouhou, the Executive Director of the newly-established UN Green Climate Fund, delivering the Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) 15th William G. Demas Memorial Lecture at the Pegasus Hotel on Tuesday evening. (CDB photo)
Héla Cheikhrouhou, the Executive Director of the newly-established UN Green Climate Fund, delivering the Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) 15th William G. Demas Memorial Lecture at the Pegasus Hotel on Tuesday evening. (CDB photo)

Last week, the Fund’s Board successfully reached agreement on essential requirements for the Fund to move towards commencing its initial resource mobilisation, including a results management framework, the initial proposal approval process, the guiding framework and procedures for accrediting entities, and the Fund’s financial risk management and investment frameworks

Calling climate change the greatest challenge of this century, Cheikhrouhou pointed out that the world has not yet experienced the full rise in temperature given the levels of greenhouse gases emitted. “We may not know the full impacts of our emissions over the last two decades until the (2040’s),” she said. The official pointed out that Caribbean Small Island Developing States, although they have caused little of the emissions, will pay a heavy price for the global inaction in reducing emissions. She said that for some countries, such as Haiti, losses could be up to 75% of GDP by the end of this century.

The challenges in dealing with the impacts of climate change is significant and the expectations of the Fund are great, Cheikhrouhou observed. Public and private beneficiaries can access grants and concessional climate finance and they want to aim for a balance of mitigation and adaptation measures, she said.

The official assured that a significant portion of the adaptation funds will go towards the most vulnerable countries and they want to ensure that developing countries take ownership and will adopt a country-driven approach. The Board of the Fund is split 50/50 between developed and developing countries-which she hailed as a first for a multilateral financial institution- and decisions are reached by consensus.

The accrediting of National Designated Authorities to interface with the Fund and those entities proposing projects will be done. The official noted that proposals can come from public, private and not-for-profit entities. “The Fund does not aspire to become yet another large bureaucracy,” the Executive Director said.

Cheikhrouhou said that they have looked at previous funds such as the UN Clean Development Mechanism and Global Environment Facility and will be building on them, while fast-track accreditation of entities who have undergone the processes of these bodies has been mulled. The Executive Director also said that Readiness Grants will be made available to countries as they prepare to access financing. “The Fund has to be flexible and responsive,” she noted.

Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Christiana Figueres has said that the initial capitalisation of the GCF should be at least US$10 billion, with the first meeting to mobilise the funds expected to take place in June/July. It is expected that the fund will spur UN treaty talks between 194 nations that aim to devise a new deal to fight climate change by 2015. Developed nations have pledged to ramp up climate aid to poorer countries to US$100 billion a year by 2020, with an unspecified portion of the cash flowing through the Green Climate Fund.

More in Local News

default placeholder

Alzarri Joseph called up for Test duty

ST.JOHN’s, Antigua, CMC-Promising Antiguan fast bowler Alzarri Joseph is set to make his Test debut after he was drafted into the West Indies side for the current home series against India.

default placeholder

Caribbean series hopes to crack US market with T20 foray

(Reuters) – Chris Gayle and Shane Watson need no introductions in cricket-playing countries but while they are unlikely to become household names in the U.S.

Renee McDonald

Chair of Bid Protest Committee resigns

Chairperson of the recently-established Bid Protest Committee (BPC) Renee McDonald has resigned even as the body’s first case—Cevons Waste Management’s protest against the Ministry of Communities over the award of a $221M Haags Bosch landfill maintenance contract—awaits a decision.

default placeholder

Main suspect in Black Bush triple murder held, owns shotgun

The main suspect in the Black Bush triple murder has been held and he is the owner of the same type of weapon that inflicted the deadly wounds.

Shane Mc Almont

Two charged with killing missing miner

Just two days after severed body parts suspected to belong to Mahdia miner Shawn Clarke were discovered, two men were charged in a city court with his murder.

default placeholder

Ferry collides with Supenaam stelling

The ferry,  Sabanto  suffered extensive damage after it collided with the Supenaam Stelling last evening and will be out of service until further notice.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: