The Paris Agreement recognizes the important role that local level actors play in ensuring climate change adaptation that contributes to meeting the global temperature goal. As a financial mechanism of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the largest dedicated climate fund, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) is critical to achieving this goal. How GCF allocates its resources is therefore a critical area of research. This article assesses GCF’s commitment to the local delivery of adaptation finance and identifies the key barriers to GCF’s achievement of this commitment. The analysis finds that although GCF’s policies and communications fully commit to funding local level adaptation, three key barriers still prevent it from delivering finance to the local level. First, GCF lacks a unified framework for identifying and defining the local level, local actors, and local adaptation processes. Second, GCF exhibits limited transparency and accountability in relation to how approved funding for adaptation is spent, particularly for projects that claim to generate local level adaptation outcomes. Third, some Accredited Entities have limited experience and capacity for designing and implementing projects that deliver finance to the local level. This is because the local delivery of finance is not prioritized by GCF during the accreditation of entities or provision of readiness support to Accredited Entities. Our findings indicate limited evidence of GCF’s full operationalization of its commitment to supporting local adaptation. We recommend that GCF develop and apply a unified framework for defining what constitutes ‘local’.

Jessica Omukuti, Sam Barrett, Piran C. L. White, Robert Marchant & Alina Averchenkova (2022) The green climate fund and its shortcomings in local delivery of adaptation finance, Climate Policy, DOI: 10.1080/14693062.2022.2093152

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