Regional Centre

7th IGES Evening Cafe

Financing Climate Change:
Updates from the Green Climate Fund

Date 16 February 2016
Venue Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand, Bangkok
Organiser IGES Regional Centre
Participants Approx.35
Speaker Youssef Arfaoui, Mitigation Coordinator, Green Climate Fund
Presentation material Accessing Climate financing From the Green Climate Fund (1.6MB)
Related Links » IGES Knowledge Café Series

The IGES Regional Centre organised its 7th Knowledge Café – an informal gathering of Bangkok’s environmental community – with the Green Climate Fund’s Mitigation Coordinator, Mr. Youssef Arfaoui, sharing his thoughts on how countries and organisations can access financing for critical climate change projects.

Opening the Café, Mr. Arfaoui said that one of the main reasons why the GCF was established is to ensure greater country ownership of climate change activities. This is achieved through "direct access" where countries can get money directly from the GCF in the form of grants, concessional loans, or other financial instruments.

A key point raised by participants was the complex and oftentimes difficult process of first getting accredited to the GCF. For countries, it is usually national government agencies – with adequate resource and capacity to meet the GCF’s fiduciary and environmental standards – that are able to get accredited. In Asia, the only accredited entity is India’s National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development.

To address this, Mr. Arfaoui noted that USD15 million is currently being channeled into "readiness" support programmes that help Small Island Developing States, Least Developed Countries, and African states access, absorb, and spend climate finance from the GCF. In addition, the GCF is also allocating 10% of its total project cost to help countries prepare better projects through a Project Preparation Fund.

Moderating the Café, IGES Senior Policy Advisor, Dr. Peter King stimulated more discussions between Mr. Arfaoui and other participants, including USAID project implementers, UNIDO and ILO representatives, an IIED researcher, and others.

They focused their discussions on how the GCF is continuing to accelerate its operation to reach the annual USD100 billion in climate finance for developing countries, which all the participants agreed is a "drop in the bucket" compared to the actual climate financing needs of poorer nations.

Questions on whether community-based organisations and cities can get accredited were also raised. Mr. Arfaoui noted that if these entities fulfil GCF requirements, they can apply for accreditation.

Other questions include how the GCF determines the type of financial instruments (for example, grants versus concessional loans) to allocate to accredited entities. He responded that the GCF looks into a project’s ability to generate revenue and determines this on a case-by-case basis.


Previously known as the Evening Café, the IGES Knowledge Café brings people together to exchange ideas, knowledge, and experiences. The 7th IGES Knowledge Café drew over 35 Bangkok-based participants from international development organisations, Thai government agencies, NGOs, research institutes, media, and the general public. To get invited to future IGES Knowledge Cafés, email:

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