Comments on Green Climate Fund Accreditation

By Rehana Dada, based on a joint civil society submission

In early May a group of civil society organisations made a submission to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in response to an invitation from the secretariat for inputs on the Fund’s strategy for accreditation.  Some aspects of the submission are presented in this article.

Firstly, there does not seem to be a prioritisation of organisations or entities that apply to be GCF Accredited Implementing Entities (AEs), which suggests “little explicit consideration” for developing diversity and ensuring that partners are selected which are best able to serve the needs of the GCF and developing countries.  This results in a favouring of large international and developed country entities who are able to make their applications more easily, and therefore access GCF funds more quickly than smaller and developing country entities.  The submissions suggests that the GCF board develop criteria for prioritising consideration of applications in a way that facilitates increase of direct access for smaller entities, and that direct access entities should be pro-actively prioritised.

A further suggestion is that the GCF temporarily freeze accreditation of international entities until there is an better balance between international and direct access entities.  Currently there are 33 AEs, of which 19 are international access entities and 9 direct access entities.  Over 80 per cent of current disbursement potential is with the international entities.  The submission also suggests that a facility or mechanism is created to channel money directly to smaller actors that are not able to be accredited, such as community based organisations and women’s groups.

The GCF accreditation strategy should include minimum standards for applications, one of these being that the applicant does not implement or fund activities that are not compliant with the Paris Agreement, such as fossil fuel investment.   It notes two AEs in particular, Deutsche Bank and Credit Agricole, both of which are known to make investments in coal power plants. The submission suggests that applicants present five year visions that include explanations of how they would contribute to a shift to a low carbon, climate resilient world, and how their experience would enable the countries in which they operate to meet their national and international climate change commitments.

There should be greater transparency in the accreditation process, and applications should be made public when filed.  On the same theme, there should be clear and transparent indicators on how information is assessed during consideration for accreditation. There should also be opportunity for public comment on applications, as well as third party verification of applicants’ ability “to implement GCF safeguards, standards, and policies”.

In terms of how the accreditation strategy should be articulated with other GCF policies, the submission suggests that it should be focused on “meeting the needs of recipient countries and delivering sustainable outcomes and impact”.  If goes on to state that the GCF should refrain from accrediting entities that are known to violate “human rights norms and standards, including on gender equality and the rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

The submission was made on behalf of ActionAid USA, BankTrack, Centre for 21st Century Issues, Friends of the Earth US, Heinrich Böll Stiftung North America, Institute for Policy Studies, InterAmerican Association for Environmental Defense, Oxfam, Oxford Climate Policy, and Sierra Club.

For the full statement please contact Karen Orenstein: