Support to OACPS countries to enhance access to Climate Finance under the Green Climate Fund (GCF): The role of the OACPS Secretariat as a GCF Delivery Partner

OACPS countries are amongst the most vulnerable to the impacts of Climate change and accordingly most in need of climate finance to achieve their NDCs, NAPs and other climate objectives. The paradox however is that actual access to climate finance by most OACPS countries remains difficult. Barriers to access for many OACPS countries include: accreditation, project identification and preparation, and the approval processes. These are often complex and challenging for some country stakeholders. Under the Green Climate Fund (GCF), countries can access up to USD 1 million per year every year for Readiness and up to USD 3 million as one off payment to support National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and processes. The GCF therefore represents an important source of funding for the OACPS countries to tap into.


It is against this backdrop that the OACPS Committee of Ambassadors (CoA) has recommended that the OACPS Secretariat takes the necessary action to become a Delivery Partner of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), in order to assist OACPS Member States access Climate Finance under the GCF. The CoA has further proposed that the Secretariat, urgently develop an OACPS Pilot Readiness Project proposal (phase I), with a minimum number of countries, in order to meet the GCF’s June 2021 deadline.


As a follow-up to the recommendations of the CoA, and with the support of the Intra-ACP GCCA+ Programme, the OACPS Secretariat convened a meeting on 26 May 2021, to engage with OACPS GCF Nationally Designated Authorities (NDAs) and member states of the OACPS to identify country-specific needs for support to access climate finance. The meeting which took place under the chairmanship of ASG Environment and Climate Action, Ms. Cristelle Pratt, was well attended with more than 30 participants, including GCF NDAs, Ambassadors, representatives of regional organisations and experts of the African Adaptation Initiative (AAI).


In her introductory remarks, ASG Pratt inter alia stressed  the importance of supporting  OACPS countries access climate finance and outlined the rationale for the Secretariat  to become a Green Climate Fund (GCF) Delivery Partner in this context. Ms Pratt highlighted the challenges that developing countries encounter to access climate finance, such as lack of capacity in mobilising resources, complicated procedures to access funding, and issues in articulating the climate rationale to fund adaptation projects due to the lack of climate data.


She further explanied  that having the OACPS Secretariat as a GCF Delivery Partner would facilitate countries’ access to climate finance and would help them to overcome the challenges they face, ensuring support and coordination with regional organisations for the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs). Furthermore, the Secretariat would be able to, in close coordination with competent OACPS regional entities, provide policy and technical capacity support to members of the OACPS represented on the GCF Board, in order to ensure the voice and issues of concern for the OACPS are taken into consideration by the GCF. We need “to ensure that every member of the OACPS can fully benefit from the available climate funds, and in this case, climate funds in the GCF”, said Ms. Pratt.


The OACPS proposed support to countries to enhanced access to GCF


The Team Leader of the Intra-ACP GCCA+ Programme, Dr Pendo Maro presented the proposal of the OACPS Secretariat to support OACPS countries enhance access to climate finance from the GCF.


Dr Maro explained that the Secretariat as a GCF Delivery Partner could support OACPS countries access  GCF Readiness funding, which amounts to USD 1million per year, for each country. Adding that it was necessary to  develop at least a few pilot cases first before scaling up to include more OACPS countries.


The Secretariat would also provide support to access multi-country Readiness funding, support coordination and exchange of learning among countries and the development of project pipelines.


Overview of discussion


The following were underscored during the meeting:

  •  The added value of the OACPS as a delivery partner was highlighted, namely:
    – Its high expertise and building on to the work already carried out by the Intra-ACP GCCA+ Programme, and regional organisations on the ground, as well as those that were already accredited as delivery partners.
    – the geographical coverage of the 79 Member States, which would help address the needs of multiple countries.
  • The challenges to secure climate finance for adaptation projects and the difficulties encountered due to the poor or lack of robust climate rationale because of poor climate data and vulnerability assessments.
  • The need for country specificity hence the importance of considering each country’s particular situation.
  • The need for a multicounty approach to enable access larger amount of funding, which can be used for the benefit of multiple countries, whereby it would have been difficult for one country to access such finance ( e.g. for investment projects).
  • The importance for have a mapping of existing relevant direct access entities in the OAPCS and sharing of this information with member states, as well as the need for building the capacity of countries to ensure that they were able to directly access GCF resources instead of going via international entities.


Pilot projects for readiness proposals

Following the meeting, two countries – Mauritius and Comores have volunteered to be pilot projects for Readiness proposals.