Green Climate Fund must take risks in warming fight, says new head

(Reuters News, 3 May 2019) The Green Climate Fund (GCF), set up by U.N. climate talks in 2010, began approving projects in 2015 to help poorer nations develop cleanly and cope with wilder weather and rising seas.

The Green Climate Fund can become a "completely unprecedented" tool to ramp up action on climate change in developing nations, allowing states, companies and communities to experiment more - as long as its coffers are refilled this year, its new head said.

In his first interview since starting a month ago, Yannick Glemarec described the fund as the "financial alchemists of climate change", because it can design funding to meet needs.

But if governments fail to deliver a "successful and ambitious replenishment" of the fund's depleting resources, its ability to transform responses to global warming will be hobbled, he warned.

The Green Climate Fund (GCF), set up by U.N. climate talks in 2010, began approving projects in 2015 to help poorer nations develop cleanly and cope with wilder weather and rising seas.

It has 84 partners - from commercial and development banks, to state agencies and civil society groups - who do the work on the ground and look to the fund to help them test innovative approaches. That would stop without new cash, Glemarec said.

"It is very important that when they ask us to help them to deliver, we are in a position to be there, and that we have enough resources also to take risk," the executive director, who is French, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

So far, for instance, the fund had provided different types of support to push the envelope on renewable energy, he noted.

That has ranged from helping put in place power purchase agreements and cheap finance for the world's biggest solar plant in Egypt, to providing equity capital for small businesses working on off-grid energy in Kenya.

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Reuters News, 3 May 2019: Green Climate Fund must take risks in warming fight, says new head