International agency signs off on 10 low carbon projects capable of mobilizing $2.6bn of investment
The high profile Green Climate Fund has signed off on $745m of low carbon investment, taking funding from the agency past the $1bn mark.
The latest meeting of the GCF, the international agency formed to mobilize low carbon investment in developing countries as part of the Paris Agreement, approved investments in 10 projects spread across 27 countries, which combined boast a total value of $2.6bn.
The announcement came at the same time as the GCF confirmed Australian Howard Bamsey has been appointed as the first executive director of the Fund’s secretariat. Bamsey is the former director-general of the Global Green Growth Institute and a veteran of international climate change diplomacy.
Zaheer Fakir, GCF Board’s developing country co-chair, said the latest round of investments underlined how the Fund was starting to deliver on its goals. “The approval of this amount is an impressive accomplishment for the Fund,” he said in a statement. “With these funding approvals, we have committed over $1bn in GCF resources this year to support low-emission and climate-resilient development in developing countries.”
His comments were echoed by Ewen McDonald, the GCF Board’s developed country co-chair, who said that the latest meeting had “achieved a great deal”. “We are now well on our way to achieve the aspirational goal of approving $2.5bn in GCF funding this year,” he said.
However, Reuters reported  that McDonald had said separately that the $2.5bn goal may be missed. “We may not get there, we don’t know,” he was quoted as saying. “But we think it’s important to have an aspiration.”
The launch of the GCF has been marred by a series of rows over how the influential fund should be managed, while critics have accused it of being slow to mobilise promised investment. Reuters reported that to date only one project – a household solar deployment in East Africa, has received GCF funding, despite eight projects being approved last year.
However, governments are hoping increased investment will start to flow in the wake of the Paris Agreement securing ratification.
The latest projects approved by the GCF feature both clean energy and climate resilience projects, including a $37m Glacial Lake Outburst Flood risk reduction project in Northern Pakistan, $41.2m to help reduce emissions from deforestation, and $80m to support a Sustainable Energy Facility for the Eastern Caribbean.