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GCF Bali meet gains to benefit poor countries

By Johnny C. Nunez

MANILA, Feb. 24 (PNA) — The United Nations Green Climate Fund (GCF) conference held February 17-21 in Bali, Indonesia has laid down the groundworks to fast track collection of pledges from developed countries, deemed to have contributed much to the exacerbation of climate change, and assure balanced allocation for climate change mitigation and adaptation for developing countries.

The GCF, known as the Fund, is the finance arm of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Last year, it elected Albay Gov. Joey S. Salceda, who represents Southeast Asia and developing countries in the UN body as Board chairman, along with Manfred Konukiewitz of Germany, his counterpart from the developed economies, as co-chair.

The GCF now holds US$ 20 billion as seed fund, of the US$ 100 billion it was authorized to raise in previous agreements engineered by the UNFCCC. The just concluded 6th GCF board meeting has made significant progress in fine-tuning the essential requirements for resource mobilization, particularly in collecting the US$ 100 billion pledges of developed countries.

Gov. Joey Salceda said the GCF’s decisions taken in the Bali conference “ensure that the Fund can help developing countries, the most vulnerable to climate change, to cope with its devastating impacts and become more climate-resilient.”

“We need to put in place the essential requirements so developed countries will have the incentives and will have no excuse not to make financial inputs to the Fund, thus resources are mobilized and the developing world can access climate finance for scalable projects and investments,” Salceda said.

In Bali, Salceda said the GCF board discussed key elements that went to the formulation of workable support policies for low carbon and climate resilient development in developing countries. The efforts led to the adoption of the Fund’s Result Management Framework, Risk Management and Investment Framework, Accreditation Framework and the Proposal Approval Process.

Salceda said the “initial allocation policy sets adaptation at a floor of 50% of total funds, with adaptation allocations being reserved for the most vulnerable countries; and robust efforts that will create a paradigm shift towards sustainable climate resilient, low-emission development.”

At the start of the Bali meeting, Salceda appealed to GCF members as stewards, on behalf of the international community, to keep in mind the Philippine experience from Haiyan (Yolanda), and exert efforts to overcome and transcend differences and ensure progress.

“Indeed, all stakeholders have shown exceptional flexibility that enabled us to make significant progress on the process which all of us would be glad to report to the Conference of Parties, and more importantly to our people back home,” Salceda added.

He summarized the five urgent issues resolved at the Bali meeting as follows: 1) the GCF, for its initial allocations, will strike a balance between mitigation and adaptation; 2) 50 % of the resources dedicated for adaption from the GCF will go to support the most vulnerable countries in Africa, the Least Developed Countries; and the Small Island Developing States; 3) Provision of incentives to fast track the development of a paradigm shift to low carbon emission for which GCF will maximize its engagement with the private sector;

4) GCF will be in the forefront of gender mainstreaming and will define its gender action plan in October 2014, and; 5) Accelerated Program of Work for Readiness of 154 developing countries given the significant German contribution of US$ 30 million, and the new pledges made by South Korea, US$ 10 million; Italy, US$ 500,000; and Indonesia – US$ 250,000. (PNA)

CTB/JCN/UTB

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