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Enhancing access to climate finance for Small Island Developing States: Considerations for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board

Briefing/policy paper

Written by Emily Wilkinson, Michai Robertson

Image credit:Kiribati Environment and Conservation Division, Aug 2022 Image license:CC BY-NC 2.0 DEED

As the world’s largest multilateral climate fund, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) forms a crucial part of the global climate finance architecture. It has a legally binding mandate to ensure that Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are eligible for access and to prioritise SIDS as it seeks to ensure efficient access and enhanced readiness support.

Evidence shows, however, that access for SIDS to GCF funding has been slow and that this group of vulnerable countries has not been prioritised. Three years after an independent evaluation highlighted serious shortcomings, it is more important than ever to highlight the reasons why the GCF is not adequately serving SIDS and make recommendations to help rectify this.

This policy brief draws on findings from a study conducted by the Resilient and Sustainable Islands Initiative (RESI) in 14 SIDS across three regions: the Caribbean; the Pacific; and the Atlantic, Indian Ocean and South China Sea. The brief sets out four recommendations for consideration by the GCF Board that would benefit SIDS and other vulnerable countries:

  1. revisit the Simplified Approval Process
  2. create a minimum country funding allocation
  3. increase its regional presence
  4. implement new operational modalities for readiness

Authors: Emily Wilkinson, Pia Treichel and Michai Robertson