GCF, CSOs lament lack of climate finance for Africa

The newly appointed Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), Mafalda Duarte, has lamented the lack of commensurate will to mobilise climate action revenues for Africa.

She made this disclosure recently at an interactive dialogue to introduce herself and also to network with civil society organisations.

The interactive session was organised at the sidelines of the recently held African Climate Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, by Centre for 21st Century Issues (C21st), a Nigerian advocacy group led by Titi Akosa, and the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA).

Duarte, who comes with high level experience in the climate finance space having been the CEO of the Climate Investment Funds based in Washington, United States, disclosed that she and her team would be doing all they can to mobilise resources and raise the GCF’s ambitions in terms of funding contributions.

According to the GCF boss, there have been a $100 billion commitment from developed countries for some years to finance climate action in developing countries but, till date, there has been no commensurate commitment.

“It’s quite frustrating when contributions to climate finance are not forthcoming,” she added.

“When the pandemic hit, countries were able to mobilise resources. But when it comes to mobilising resources for climate action in developing countries, it’s a different story. But we have banks in these countries investing in fossil fuels and industrial agriculture.”

Responding to several issues and questions by CSOs, Ms Duarte spoke on the need to get indigenous people involved directly in GCF projects, when asked about how they could be better represented.

She agreed that they are the custodians and stewards of their communities, and they would probably have more accumulated knowledge that the GCF accredited entities might not readily be aware of.

“Nothing prevents the GCF from providing resources through a very diverse set of stakeholders, including those closer to the communities.”

The CSOs gathered also spoke on the need to have more control over the kind of agreements indigenous people are compelled to sign. Citing the case of a situation in Brazil where a carbon agreement was signed by communities in the Amazon in ignorance, they decried such situations where such agreements are signed in ignorance.

According to Akosa, the Executive Director of C21st, co-organiser of the interactive session, it is extremely important to have communities integrated into the GCF representative charter.

Akosa disclosed that this would be the first time Ms Mafalda Duarte would be meeting with civil society organisations after her appointment, and coming at the African Climate Week, preparatory to COP28 would provide an opportunity to liaise and understand the issues that CSOs have with regards to climate finance and projects execution.

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