AIDA attended the Latin American Carbon Forum 2014 in Bogotá, Colombia. There, our lawyer Andrea Rodríguez participated as a representative of civil society in a panel on the Green Climate Fund (GCF), a mechanism that will mobilize large amounts of resources to support adaptation and mitigation of climate change. Andrea answers a series of questions about the current situation and prospects of the GCF.
- We have the same expectations as the Fund. We want it to be a transparent, inclusive institution that is constant learning, as stated in Article 3 of its governing instrument. Its focus has to be driven by each country’s determination of what priorities should be funded. It must balance funding for adaptation and mitigation of climate change. We expect the Fund to promote social, environmental, economic, and development co-benefits and taking a gender sensitive approach; men and women are affected to the same degree by climate change. In short, we want the Green Climate Fund to follow the rules of procedure it has adopted.
- Financing is given mostly for mitigation projects, despite the great need to fund projects for adaptation to climate change. In Bali, Indonesia, during the penultimate meeting of the Fund’s Board, it was decided that 50% of the funding will go to mitigation and 50% for adaptation. That decision was made and we must ensure that it is followed. Furthermore, in Latin America, development plans and climate change strategies that have been advanced have set adaptation financing as a priority.
- We must go beyond design to implementation. The Fund's governing instrument provides in Article 71 that the Board needs to develop mechanisms to promote the participation of all stakeholders (vulnerable groups, women, civil society and indigenous groups) in the design, development and implementation of projects and programs financed by the Green Climate Fund. There is a mandate for civil society in all stages. The issue is relevant because the Fund will become operational soon and will have to create these participatory mechanisms at the national level, particularly when countries begin to name their national designated authorities (those that collateralize the projects or activities financed by the Fund). It needs to institutionalize these participatory processes.
- The definition of indicators will be among the topics discussed at the next meeting of the GCF Board, but some are particularly important. In adaptation, we need to consider whether a project can help reduce the vulnerability of a community to climate change. As for mitigation, you have to measure the amount of emissions reduced. But the most important aspect is to measure co-benefits that a project or activity can generate: if it creates jobs, improves people’s quality of life, etc. This is because the Green Climate Fund aims to contribute to a paradigm shift that promotes sustainable development. Helping to improve quality of life is a change of this nature. Many times, projects that have positive climate benefits generate social, environmental, and economic problems. So it is essential that additional benefits are evident in social, environmental, and economic terms.