Green Climate Fund (GCF)

Adaptation, Mitigation
Method of Support
Concessional loans, Grants
Eligible Countries
All developing countries that are Parties to the UNFCCC
Funds Pledged
USD 10,300 million
Funds Received
USD 4,700 million
Funds Approved
USD 1,600 million
Source: Green Climate Fund. – the latest information on portfolio. (As of Mar 2017)
TIPS by USAID Adapt Asia-Pacific

As the biggest player in town, developments within the GCF will likely have implications on all other UNFCCC funding sources, including the AF and the Global Environment Facility’s funds. While funding modalities are still under discussion, unlike the AF, there is currently no limit on the amount of funds a country can access. Entities already accredited to the AF may also get on a fast-track route for GCF accreditation.

GCF provides templates for concept notes and funding proposals, which can be found on its website along with a number of other useful guidelines. 


The Green Climate Fund (GCF) was adopted as a financial mechanism of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change at the end of 2011. Given the urgency and seriousness of climate change, the GCF seeks to make a significant and ambitious contribution to combating climate change, including attaining the mitigation and adaptation goals set by the international community. It also seeks to promote a global paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways. Over time the GCF is expected to become the main multilateral financing mechanism to support climate action in developing countries.
Target area
There are no prescribed sectors or approaches. The GCF will finance activities to both enable and support adaptation, mitigation (including REDD+), technology development and transfer (including carbon capture and storage), and capacity building. The GCF will support countries through both project-based and programmatic approaches that are in line with national strategies and plans (such as a low-emission development strategy, Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions, National Adaptation Programme of Action, National Adaptation Plan, and others).
How to access the fund
The GCF works through a diverse range of partners. Like the Adaptation Fund, the GCF will give recipient countries direct access to funding through accredited national and sub-national implementing entities and intermediaries. Only those government agencies, NGOs, national development banks, and others that can meet the rigorous fiduciary standards of the GCF will get accredited to directly receive and implement funding. Alternatively, countries can access funding through accredited international entities, such as multilateral development banks, UN agencies, and regional organizations like the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme. Other accredited entities in Asia-Pacific include the Asian Development Bank, the German Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW Development Bank), and the United Nations Development Programme. Unique to the GCF, private sector entities can be accredited as implementing entities or intermediaries, through its Private Sector Facility – providing another avenue for countries to access the funds.  
Approval process

The GCF issues calls for funding proposals. Only those that are cleared by a national designated authority or a country’s focal point can be submitted. The GCF Technical Advisory Panel reviews them to ensure compliance to its environmental and social safeguards, and gender, financial, and other relevant policies and requirements.

The GCF approves proposals based on impact; paradigm shift and sustainable development potential; country needs; coherence to national climate strategies; effectiveness and efficiency, including ability to leverage additional funding.