Climate Funds Update highlights: May 2017

The biggest news in the last few weeks has been the US’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. One impact of this withdrawal is uncertainty over the delivery of the remaining $2 billion from the US’s $3 billion pledge to the Green Climate Fund (GCF).  In response, however, many US state governors, mayors, university presidents, and businesses have reaffirmed their commitment to climate action. Some are in talks to become official parties to the Paris Agreement and submit climate pledges under the Non-State Actor Zone for Climate Action (NAZCA) mechanism for sub-national entities, in a bid to match and continue the commitments that the US government does not fulfil. The outcome of these talks could be a game changer for increasing climate support across the US and mobilising greater private sector involvement.

The Bonn climate talks in May also reaffirmed the need for both public and private sector involvement in achieving global target. Key discussions took place in Bonn around the ‘rulebook’ for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, which must be finalised at COP24 in 2018, the Facilitative Dialogue and Global Stock Take processes for monitoring and reporting of climate action, and contention over the Adaptation Fund (AF).

In the wake of these and other key developments in climate action, there have been some interesting movements in climate financing. We have undertaken our May 2017 round of updates to the Climate Funds Update database, which monitors the donations to, and disbursements of financing by the key climate funds. This data can be found on the Climate Funds Update website. In this blog, we’ll summarise the main changes since the last update in November 2016.

The biggest pledges and deposits since November 2016=> money coming from donors to the funds

Only modest additional pledges have been made to climate funds since November 2016. From the funds reported in CFU, the largest increases in pledged amounts have been to the Adaptation Fund (of approximately $70 million) and the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR) (of approximately $35 million).

The Adaptation Fund received new contributions of $2.9 million from the Brussels Capital Region, $6.7 million from Flanders (Belgium) and $58.9 million from Germany (bringing their total contributions to the AF to $4.9 million, $7.8 million and $223.9 million, respectively). The PPCR received an increased funding pledge from the United Kingdom of $37 million (bringing the UK’s total contribution to the PPCR to $525.9 million).

Also of note, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) has received a number of small pledges since November 2016: $0.5 million from Cyprus, $4.8 million from Flanders and $10.9 million from Wallonia, two regional governments in Belgium, and $1.3 million from the city of Paris, the first municipal government to make a pledge to the GCF.

Leading project approvals since November 2016=> money going out of the funds

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has approved the largest amount of new project funding since our last update in November 2016, committing $1,046 across 16 projects. Six of these projects target climate adaptation and six target mitigation, while four cut across both objectives. The largest new project is providing $250 million in equity and $15 million in grant funding towards ‘GEEREF NeXt’, the new phase of the Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund. The GEEREF is a fund of funds that seeks to act as an anchor investor for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in developing countries, drawing in private investors by allowing them to diversify their risk across multiple projects and technologies. Three further new GCF projects each have over $100 million in approved financing each: the ‘Simiyu Climate Resilient Development Programme’ in Tanzania, ‘Catalyzing Private Investment in Sustainable Energy’ in Argentina, and the ‘Renewable Energy Financing Framework ‘project in Egypt. In the latter two projects, funding primarily consists of concessional loans. The GCF is making use of a greater diversity of financial instruments than has been traditional for climate funds, offering equity and guarantees in addition to grants and concessional loans in an attempt to better address project-specific investment barriers (see infographic 3 on ODI’s 10 things to know about climate finance in 2016).

The Adaptation Fund (AF) has approved $68 million across 35 projects since November 2016. Ten of these projects, averaging $7 million in funding, actively seek to reduce vulnerability and build resilience. The remaining approvals are for $10,000 to $50,000 technical assistance grants under the AF’s Readiness Programme for Climate Finance, which aims to build the capacity of National Implementing Entities (NIEs) to address environmental, social and gender-related risk management (see Adaptation Fund, 2016). The AF has recently approved projects, such as the ‘Integrated approach to physical adaptation and community resilience in Antigua and Barbuda’s northwest McKinnon’s watershed’, which include provisions directed at improving financial and technical access for micro-, small- and medium enterprises (MSMEs). MSMEs are an underserved group with a large potential to undertake adaptation activities; the AF, along with the GCF and a handful of other climate funds are leading the way in increasing the targeting of adaptation activities through this sector.

Since November 2016, funds have approved $389 million for adaptation projects (a 9% cumulative increase), $657 million for mitigation projects (7% increase), $163 million for REDD+ projects (7% increase), and $274 million for multiple foci projects (16% increase) (Fig.1).

Figure 1: Thematic distribution of new project funding since November 2016 (USD millions)

2017 Blog Fig 1

In geographic terms, the Sub-Saharan Africa and the Latin America and the Caribbean regions have attracted the largest amounts of new multilateral climate finance over the last 6 months (Fig. 2).

Figure 2: Geographic distribution of new project funding since November 2016 (USD millions)

2017 Blog Fig 2