By :- Our staff Writer
Addis Ababa (Ethiopia Today), February 27, 2023: African Civil Society Groups (CSGs), expressed disappointment with the GCF’s first replenishment period and called on the facility to improve the quality of GCF-funded programs in Africa in the second replenishment of the facility.
Convened in Niamey, Niger, on the sidelines of the ninth Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD-9), the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), Care International, and German Watch expressed disappointment with the GCF’s first replenishment period and called on the facility to improve the quality of GCF-funded programs in Africa in the facility’s second replenishment.
CSOs expressed dissatisfaction with the GCF’s recently concluded first replenishment period, during which the GCF underperformed in mobilizing climate funds and provided insufficient funding to frontline communities.
“The inaccessibility of funding mechanisms by poor and less developed countries and widespread inaccessible information in the first replenishment period further compromised accountability, making it difficult for CSOs and any other body pursuing accountability to discern the cost of delivering a dollar to communities at the frontlines of the climate crisis,” reads the press release sent to Ethiopia Today.
CSGs noted the growing contribution of GCF to global inequality as a large amount of GCF funding (66 percent of all GCF funding) flows through just a few (five) large multilateral entities to fund projects that are not even elaborated at country level. Probably this was the epitome of a global conspiracy to defraud less developed countries and the poor of the resources they most needed to address the growing climate crisis, but in this case, large multilateral entities used these funds to sustain their bureaucracies. This was generally found out during the GCF-funded project monitoring undertaken by CSOs in Africa.
Said Chakri from the Morocco based organization “Association des Enseignants des Sciences de la Vie et de la Terre Maroc (AESVT)” highlighted that the monitoring process done on the implementation of GCF-funded projects left a gap between implementing entities and the communities for whom the project was conceived.
“A platform made up of the key actors should be established at the local level to promote greater coordination and better communication among entities at all levels and greater participation of local communities to enhance the confidence of the rights holders,” said Chakri before recommending that the second replenishment involve the communities’ environmental CSOs in the governance of all GCF funded projects at all levels.
According to the evaluation, local lack of transparency and accountability and bureaucratic processes were bolded out as some of the key bottlenecks to the performance of GCF funded projects in Africa.
“CSOs were vocal in influencing the establishment of the Green Climate Fund. The climate fund was supposed to be much more accessible, providing resources at speed to countries and communities at the frontlines of the climate crisis, but bureaucracy has made this very challenging. “In fact, the GCF is more bureaucratic than the World Bank, and it is much easier to access funding from the WB than the GCF,” said Mithika Mwenda, the Executive Director of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA).
In 2019, the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) observed in their study that less than 10% of funding committed under international climate funds to help developing countries take action on climate change is directed at the local level.
The disparity among countries in the amounts of GCF funds received by African countries is far below the amounts received by other countries from other continents and is a potential recipe for inequality, a hindrance to achieving the SDG mantra, according to the press release.
The CSOs tasked the GCF with facilitating access to climate funds for climate-vulnerable countries and communities, with at least 50% of the total funding supporting adaptation projects.
The GCF is requested to provide 90% of its funding in the form of grants, with a greater focus on adaptation and fair weights assigned to social and environmental returns on investments.