International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics (forthcoming)
"Although the Green Climate Fund (GCF) is widely commendable in several ways, access to the Fund has been very challenging for many African countries. Using GCF published statistics, we identify possible challenges likely to be responsible for this. First, we present an assessment of the GCF’s Readiness Support Programme with respect to how the programme’s performance may have affected achievement of African countries’ readiness outcomes. Second, a critical evaluation of the status of African GCF portfolio (pipeline and approved projects) provides a means by which to assess how well Africa’s current portfolio aligns with GCF strategic impact areas, results areas and investment priorities. We then discuss GCF access modalities and the implications of relying on International Accredited Entities (IAEs) to indirectly access the Fund. The readiness support assessment indicates that the distribution of support requests and funding approvals is nearly equal across the regions of Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean. However, when the regions are considered individually, Africa demonstrates lower approvals with respect to requests and securing funding. Results from the GCF portfolio evaluation reveal that little or no attention has been devoted to GCF critical result areas such as forests and land use or transport, where great potentials for low-carbon development transitions exist. With respect to access modalities, the IAE financing mechanism currently provides access to the Fund for the majority of projects in both the global and African GCF portfolios. The implications of these findings are extensively discussed."