CDKN Policy Brief – How can the Green Climate Fund initiate a paradigm shift?

Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) recently launched a new policy brief How can the Green Climate Fund initiate a paradigm shift? that explores the measures that will be needed for the Green Climate Fund to fulfill its ambitions.

A global decision through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) agreements paved the way for the establishment of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in Copenhagen (2009) and Cancún (2010). The GCF is therefor  a fund within the framework of the UNFCCC and a mechanism to transfer money from the developed to the developing world, in order to assist the developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change. The GCF is based in the new Songdo district of Incheon, South Korea. Main objectives are to limit global warming to below 2°C and also to make the planet and its inhabitants more resilient to the expected impacts of climate change.

It has become apparent that this can only be achieved if high-emitting countries with the greatest historical responsibility for climate change, must start to decarbonise their economies. To just continue as before is not a good enough option, that much seems clear for the majority.


The key massages of this policy brief are:

  • The objective of the Green Climate Fund is to achieve a paradigm shift towards low-carbon and climate resilient development pathways. This requires ambition, in the design of funded activities and in
  • the provision of financial resources to the GCF
  • A paradigm shift might imply moving to more programmatic approaches, for example approaches covering whole sectors or economies
  • Strong country ownership is essential for a paradigm shift to occur and important for ambition; it will ensure that new ways of working endure in the long term
  • The GCF can create the conditions for achieving a paradigm shift by providing clear incentives and guidance for ambitious proposals by governments and sub-national actors, by developing access modalities that ensure strong country ownership, by supporting the necessary capacity development, and by encouraging robust knowledge sharing. This must be matched with the provision of to the fund.

Read the full brief here.


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