LDCF/SCCF Council Meeting
On Thursday, 17 June, GEF Council Members convened for the 30th meeting of the Least Developed Countries Fund/Special Climate Change Fund (LDCF/SCCF) Council. GEF CEO and Chairperson Rodríguez introduced substantive discussions in the LDCF/SCCF Council by highlighting that these Funds seek to catalyze action and investment in adaptation for countries most vulnerable to climate change under the philosophy of “leave no LDC behind.”
Sonam Phuntsho Wangdi (Bhutan), Chair, LDC Group, said LDCs consider the LDCF “our Fund,” given that there is no competition from other countries for funding. He said LDCs need USD 1 billion in the GEF-8 replenishment for adaptation funding. He also called attention to the “LDC 2050 Vision” initiative, through which LDCs aim to “be net zero” by 2050.
The LDCF/SCCF Council approved an LDCF work program comprising seven projects, including four multi-trust fund projects, for total resources amounting to USD 60.73 million, inclusive of GEF project financing and Agency fees. With this Work Program’s adoption, the Fund has reached 91% of LDCs during the GEF-7 cycle.
The LDCF/SCCF Council also approved the Annual Monitoring Review of the LDCF and SCCF, welcoming its overall finding that the two portfolios under implementation performed satisfactorily in fiscal year 2020 and welcoming progress made in reporting portfolio-level performance, results, and lessons learned.
During a discussion on the Progress Report on the Least Developed Countries Fund and the Special Climate Change Fund, LDCF/SCCF Council Members queried the lack of recent funding for the SCCF, and called for more indicators and disaggregated data on progress. They adopted a decision welcoming the report and taking note with appreciation of the progress made under the LDCF and SCCF.
GCF/GEF Complementarity, Civil Society Engagement, and Other Agenda Items
On the long-term vision on complementarity, coherence, and collaboration between the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the GEF, GEF Council Members highlighted opportunities for streamlining processes while calling for the unique strengths and partnerships for each organization to be retained. They called for concrete future activities, with regular updates, with one suggesting that the GEF focus on early-stage innovative approaches, and the GCF concentrate on scaling up. Members adopted an amended decision welcoming “in particular the establishment of a joint steering committee” and looking forward to an annual joint progress report.
The GEF Council agreed to focus on “Engaging the Youth in Promoting GEF’s mission: Youth-led Advocacy and Solutions to the Planet’s Environmental Crisis” as the theme for its consultation with civil society before the GEF Council meeting in December 2021.
The Council agreed to hold its 64th session from 11-13 June 2023 and its 65th session from 10-12 December 2023.
Given changes in the scheduling cycle of supporting documentation used for annual managerial performance ratings of the GEF CEO and the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) Director, the Council adopted a decision proposed by its Selection and Review Committee to start conducting the annual reviews at the Council’s December session instead of the June session as it has done in the past.
The Council adopted a decision establishing a new numbering system for Council decisions, so the decisions can be more readily searched, located, and referenced and have their individual texts provided online for interested parties to access.
The Council discussed a recent ranking of the GEF in the 2021 Quality of Official Development Assistance (QuODA) Report and the Secretariat’s analysis of why it may not accurately reflect the GEF’s performance. CEO Rodríguez reported that he has initiated discussions with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Center for Global Development, and others that rate aid quality on a possible improved methodology for comparing aid that better reflects what the GEF and other environment funds do. He promised to report back to the Council on the topic.
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