Post-Paris/Post-Trump: The Green Climate Fund and Climate Finance Governance in the Eye of the Storm
27 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2017
Date Written: September 8, 2017
The Green Climate Fund (GCF), established in 2010, is a significant and potentially innovative addition to the frameworks in place under the UN Climate Convention to mobilise finance for climate change mitigation and adaptation. In addition to its challenges of operationalisation as a new international fund, the GCF confronts further difficulties as a result of US President Donald Trump's June announcement that the United States would renege on its pledged contributions to the GCF and withdraw from the Paris Agreement. As a result, the GCF faces a major reduction in actual contributions from the projected amount, as well as potential governance challenges at the levels of its Board and the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP), to which the GCF is ultimately accountable. This paper analyses these challenges with reference to the GCF's internal regulations and its agreements with third parties such as the United States. It goes on to discuss how COP-mandated design features of the GCF can be built upon to strengthen the GCF's resilience in the face of such challenges. These features are the GCF's linkages with UNFCCC constituted bodies, in particular the Technology Mechanism, and its engagement with non-Party stakeholders, especially through the Private Sector Facility. It is argued that deepening GCF engagement with both the Technology Mechanism and non-Party stakeholders would increase both the coherence of climate finance governance and the GCF's ability to contribute to ambitious climate action in uncertain times.
Keywords: climate change law, climate finance, Green Climate Fund, Paris Agreement, international organisation
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