Watch: Learning into action: Leveraging climate finance in Southern Africa

Learning into action: Leveraging climate finance in Southern Africa

In October 2018, the Government of Namibia represented by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, co-hosted with SouthSouthNorth a Regional Learning Forum on the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The Learning Forum provided a platform for National Designated Authorities (NDAs), nominated entities and accredited entities to the GCF from select countries in southern Africa to share their experiences in trying to access resources from the Fund.

The Forum was unique as it was led by officials who have experience in dealing with the GCF with no external expertise. Key messages from the Learning Forum include:

  • Climate finance should catalyse development in the different contexts. NDA’s have a powerful role in linking climate change with the broader development agenda of their country.
  • There are pros and cons to becoming accredited to the GCF depending on the long-term strategy of the country. However, having institutions with strong fiduciary standards, will mean that the country has institutions can access finance from a broader range of sources.
  • No one institution can work at all the investment scales of the GCF, thus countries need to consider the strategic mix of institutions would work better for their context.
  • Partnering with already accredited entities in particular regional entities is beneficial for countries who don’t yet have an accredited entity, but also where they would like to use different instruments such as onward lending. The partnerships should be considered in terms of the priorities in-country, scale and impact of projects.
  • Having a platform where those who have gone through the process, helps others starting the process. Having a coordinated approach to learning for action in the sub-region will be important to ensure countries don’t lag behind.


About the Southern Africa Climate Finance Partnership

The Southern Africa Climate Finance Partnership is a project of SouthSouthNorth that seeks to support a regional partnership between six countries (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe) to support country-owned and managed climate finance portfolios that can access finance from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and other climate finance avenues, mobilising private investment where possible.

The objective of the project is to:

  • Support relevant stakeholders to understand GCF policies and procedures, with a particular focus on the Gender Policy and Action Plan and the Environmental and Social Policy.
  • Support National Designated Authorities (NDAs) to the GCF to engage with domestic private sector actors.



Journey through the Green Climate Fund: Insights from Zaheer Fakir

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is one of the largest multilateral sources of climate finance that supports developing countries to address climate change. The Fund promotes a paradigm shift to low-emission and climate resilient development, taking into account the needs of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The Fund was set up in 2010 by 194 countries who are party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its initial resource mobilisation saw USD10,3 billion pledged.

The GCF Board has invested approximately USD4,6 billion of its resources into 93 projects in developing countries across the globe. In 2018, the first replenishment process of the Fund was launched and the process will be concluded in late 2019. This process is critical for accelerating climate action in developing countries and to contributing to limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 C.

The Fund is governed by a 24-member Board, which is comprised equally of developed and developing countries representing the United Nations Regional Groups. Board members have a three year term. Mr Zaheer Fakir is the Chief Policy Advisor: International Governance for the Department of Environmental Affairs, Government of South Africa. Mr Fakir was a GCF Co-Chair from 2013 – 2014 and 2016 – 2017 and a Board member from 2013 – 2015 and 2016 – 2018.