The Green Climate Fund (GCF) was established in 2010 by 194 countries party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The GCF aims to support a paradigm shift in climate-change response by investing in low-emission and climate-resilient projects and programs in developing countries. It focuses in particular on the needs of societies facing severe impacts due to climate change, including Least Developed Countries (LCDs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and African States. The GCF provides investment to “accredited entities” such as public institutions, development or commercial banks, or private companies that implement climate-resilient projects.
The GCF is in the process of developing its own internal environmental and social standards. In the interim, the GCF applies the International Finance Corporation’s Environmental and Social Performance Standards to ensure that its investments are in keeping with its mission. These standards cover eight requirements: 1) assessment and management of environmental and social risks and impacts; 2) labor and working conditions; 3) resource efficiency and pollution prevention; 4) community health, safety, and security; 5) land acquisition and involuntary resettlement; 6) biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of living natural resources; 7) Indigenous Peoples; and 8) cultural heritage. The GCF uses a monitoring and accountability framework that requires accredited entities to submit annual self-reports on their compliance with the safeguards. In the GCF’s Information Disclosure Policy, the Fund commits to disclose any information not contained in a list of exceptions on its website, through other appropriate means, or upon request. The exceptions to disclosure include personal information, confidential information, and certain financial information that, if disclosed, may prejudice the financial or commercial interests of the GCF and its activities.
The Governing Instrument for the Green Climate Fund mandates the creation of “an independent redress mechanism that will report to the Board.” The GCF is in the process of operationalizing the Independent Redress Mechanism (IRM). The IRM was established to address reconsideration of funding decisions and “address the grievances and complaints by communities and people who have been directly affected by the adverse impacts through the failure of the project … to implement the Fund’s operational policies and procedures, including environmental and social safeguards.” The IRM’s Interim Procedures can be found here.
Accountability Counsel is advocating for a robust and functional IRM at the GCF. Please see our current advocacy page for more information.