Launched in 2010 in Cancun, during COP-16, the Green Climate Fund is the main instrument for North-South cooperation in climate matters. In ten years of existence, it has failed to attract the 100 billion dollars initially hoped for in 2020. But it has overcome several crises, such as the one caused by the withdrawal of the United States in 2017, which deprived of the 2 billion promised and has proven its usefulness: channeling the effort of the rich countries to finance the fight against global warming among the poorest.
“The Green Fund is today the biggest donor for the climate. It can do things that no UN agency can do, like working with private partners or providing any kind of funding, from grants to loans or capital investments ”, explains Yannick Glemarec, its executive director, who spoke at a seminar organized at the École des Mines on December 15.
Three billion projects per year
The Green Fund was first capitalized in 2014 by $ 7.2 billion, then a second time at the end of 2019 to the tune of 10 billion. “Currently, we approve project funding to the tune of one billion at every board meeting, three times a year, so that at the current rate, we have enough funds until 2022”, explains the director.
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The headquarters of the Green Fund are in Incheon, South Korea. This United Nations agency works with 103 accredited partners from all over the world. For France, there are BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole and the French Development Agency. The Fund’s rules provide that it must finance, for half of its credits, adaptation to climate change and for the other half their transition to sustainable growth models. It must dedicate a quarter of its resources to Africa and island states.
Greening the recovery plans
Long uncertain about its future, the Green Fund is now reinforced by the coming to power of Joe Biden in the United States. It is also counting on recovery plans: “We are at a turning point, Yannick Glemarec analysis. There are currently $ 12 trillion in stimulus in the works as part of the various post-Covid recovery plans around the world. If they are invested as in 2008 to restart the old economy, we will no longer have any chance of staying on track with the Paris Agreement. On the other hand, if we manage to green these plans, that can make it possible to arrive there “.
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According to him, we must also ensure that “Developing countries have access to financing on acceptable terms to launch their own development plans”. With the health crisis, they saw their tax revenues drop and suffered a flight of capital.
From Chile to Senegal
For example, the Fund is co-financing the creation in Chile of a water reservoir by the sea, a project whose total cost is one billion dollars. Wind turbines will produce energy to pump water into the reservoir, located above sea level. Then a dam will use this water to produce electricity which will thus be available at all times, and not not just when it’s windy.
Another emblematic project, the Green Fund finances the electrification of 1,000 villages in Senegal with photovoltaics. “In Africa, we need renewable energies off the grid, because it is anyway too expensive to build power lines”, says Yannick Glemarec. And he insists on the need to “Lift the brakes” to this kind of projects. Because in developing countries, projects of this type are often slowed down by the administration, or by the lack of technical and financial capacities.
“Projects become easier when a State is frankly committed to a policy of sustainable development”, considers the director. And to encourage them to take this turn, knowing that they will be widely supported, via the Fund, is a powerful lever.