Clean Technology Fund

Clean Technology Fund


The Clean Technology Fund (CTF), one of two multi-donor trust funds under the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) framework, promotes scaled-up financing for demonstration, deployment and transfer of low-carbon technologies with significant potential for long-term greenhouse gas emissions savings implementation in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and clean transport in emerging market middle-income and developing economies. The CTF is at the forefront of financing promising renewable energy technologies, such as concentrated solar power (CSP). Channelled through the African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Inter-American Development Bank, and World Bank Group, the CTF finances 19 country programmes and one regional programme with over 90 individual projects.

Basic Description

Name of the Fund Clean Technology Fund (CTF)
Official Fund Website
Date Created
Date fund proposed: February 2008.
Date fund made operational: 1 July 2008 (approved by the World Bank Board of Directors).
Proposed Life of Fund The design of the CTF includes a ‘sunset clause’ which stipulates that necessary steps to conclude CTF operations shall be taken once a new UNFCCC financial architecture takes effect. Any remaining CTF funds may be transferred to another fund with a similar objective.

The implementation of the ‘sunset clause’ has been suspended repeatedly and in 2019 indefinitely. Until such time, donors and recipients operate under the existing framework.

Objectives The Clean Technology Fund (CTF) seeks to promote scaled-up financing for demonstration, deployment and transfer of low-carbon technologies with significant potential for long-term greenhouse gas emissions savings. It aims to:

  1. Provide positive incentives, through public and private sector investments, for the demonstration of low carbon development and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions
  2. Fund low carbon programmes and projects that are embedded in national plans and strategies, scaling up development and accelerating the diffusion and transfer of clean technologies
  3. Realise environmental and social co-benefits, illustrating the potential for low-carbon technologies in contributing to sustainable development and the Millennium Development Goals
  4. Support international cooperation on climate change
  5. Utilise skills and capabilities of the MDBs to raise and deliver new and additional resources, including official and concessional funding, at significant scale
  6. Share experiences and lessons learned in responding to climate change challenges.

CTF expects to ultimately reduce close to 70 million tons of greenhouse gas emission per year.

Financial inputs and fund size The CTF Trust Fund has financial inputs of about USD 5.4 billion received through contributions by donors from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States. CTF funding is deployed through six multilateral development banks (MDBs).

All CIF finance can be classed as ODA by MDBs if:

  • It meets the criterion of promoting economic development and welfare.
  • The grant element is at least 25%.
  • The funds are to be used in a country included in the OECD-DAC list of ODA eligible countries.
Activities Supported Activities supported by the CTF include projects and programmes within the following sectors:

  • Power Sector: renewable energy and highly efficient technologies to reduce carbon intensity
  • Transport Sector: efficiency and modal shifts
  • Energy Efficiency: buildings, industry, and agriculture.

Programming options include programmes and large-scale projects at:

  • Sectoral or sub-sectoral levels in a given country
  • Sub-national levels, focusing activity on particular provinces/states/municipalities
  • Regional levels, particularly where regional cooperation is required.

Additionally, there are options for private sector engagement or public-private partnerships. The Dedicated Private Sector Programs (DPSP) provides capital to finance high-impact, large-scale private sector projects in clean technology.

Administrating Organization

Secretariat or Administrative Unit The CIF Administrative Unit supports the work of the CTF Trust Fund Committee. It provides recommendations and reporting on operational and financial matters to the CIF governing bodies.

The Unit is housed in the World Bank Group’s Washington DC offices and is comprised of a small professional and administrative staff.

Trustee The World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) acts as Trustee for all CIF, including the CTF. It holds in trust, as a legal owner and administrator, the funds, assets and receipts that constitute the CTF Trust Fund, pursuant to the terms entered into with the contributors.

Fund Finance and Access Modalities

Conditions and Eligibility Requirements Middle-Income and developing countries.

Country access requires:

  • ODA-eligibility (according to OECD/DAC guidelines)
  • Existence of active multilateral development bank (MDB) country programmes.
Accessing the Fund
Access Modalities – CTF funding is only accessible through Multilateral Development Banks (the World Bank Group, Inter-American Development Bank, African Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Asian Development Bank) acting as implementing partners.

Project eligibility is assessed on potential “transformative” effects as well as project viability in the absence of concessional finance. CTF programmes are intended to “stimulate lasting changes in the structure or function of a sector, sub-sector or market” by improving internal rates of return on low GHG emissions investments.

Public Sector

  1. MDBs jointly assess interested eligible countries’ investment potential to meet CTF investment criteria.
  2. Where there is a potential fit, MDBs conduct a joint exercise involving other relevant development partners, to discuss with interested governments, private industries and other stakeholders how CTF may help finance scaled-up low carbon activities.
  3. Under the leadership of the recipient country, an investment plan (essentially the MDBs’ “business plan”) is produced.
  4. The CTF Trust Fund Committee reviews the investment plan with a view to endorsing a resource envelope for programmes/projects and authorising designated MDBs to proceed with development and preparation of individual investment operations for CTF co-financing.

Private Sector

  • Private sector proposals are submitted in the form of either a) individual large-scale projects (“Projects”) or b) programme envelopes which aggregate several small and medium sized projects each utilising less than USD 50 million of CTF funds and all having a shared focus and objective (“Programmes”).
  • Proposals explain how the Projects and Programmes are expected to contribute towards the objective of achieving transformational outcomes in a sector, sub-sector, country, sub-national region, sub-region, or region while demonstrating that these outcomes would not be possible without support from the CTF.
Financial Instruments – The CTF uses a blend of financial instruments, including grants, contingent grants, concessional loans, equity and guarantees to make investing in low carbon technologies more attractive to both public and private sector investors in developing countries. CTF financing provides a grant element tailored to cover the identifiable additional costs necessary to make the project viable, thereby providing the appropriate incentive to facilitate deployment of low carbon technologies at scale.

The terms of CTF financing are:

Harder concessional Softer concessional
Maturity (years) 20 40
Grace period (years) 10 10
Principal repayments (Yr 11-20) 10% 2%
Principal repayments (Yr 20-40) N/A 4%
MDB Fee 0.18% 0.18%
Service Charge Fiscal Year 09-10 0.75% 0.25%
Grant Element 45% 75%

Source: Climate Investment Funds ‘Clean Technology Fund Financing Products, Terms, and Review Procedures for Public Sector Operations‘, September 30th, 2015.

Accreditation process – There is no accreditation process for the CIF as only the MDBs can access and implement CIF funding, including for the CTF.
Overview of implementing entities – The World Bank Group, the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Development Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank are the implementing entities for CTF investments.
Nature of recipient country involvement – CTF investment programmes are developed on a country-specific basis to achieve nationally-defined objectives. CTF investment plans build on existing country-owned strategies or action plans and demonstrate complementarity to activities under other available programmes, including those that are aimed at enhancing the enabling environment. The governments will play a central role in programming of the CTF’s public sector related projects and in donor coordination.
Allocation criteria – The share of funding allocated to an MDB will be based on country requests, the quality of proposals, the comparative advantage of the MDB and experience in a region/country.

The maximum total CTF preparation grant allocation for an investment plan or a project is USD 1 million.

Safeguards, Gender and Indigenous Peoples
Safeguards – All projects and programmes are subject to the environmental and social safeguards of the implementing MDBs. The MDBs apply “their own appropriate procedures in appraising, approving, supervising, monitoring and evaluating operations”.
Gender – CTF falls under the CIF Gender Policy and the CIF Gender Action Plan. While the Gender Policy provides a governance framework for gender integration in the CIF, the Gender Action Plan is “committed to mainstreaming gender in CIF policy and programming, in support of gender equality in climate resilient, low-carbon development investment across the CIF portfolio”. The CIF Gender Action Plan is currently in Phase 3 and has two main aims: (1) to deepen upstream support to MDBs and countries on gender technical assistance for Investment Plan and project design, (2) to enhance gender monitoring and reporting, and knowledge and capacity.
Indigenous Peoples – CIF governance treats Indigenous Peoples as a core stakeholder group. While there is a separate CIF Gender Policy, there is no equivalent CIF Indigenous Peoples Policy. Instead, the existing policies and approaches of the MDBs implementing CTF projects and programmes apply.

Indigenous Peoples are granted representation in CIF governance as active observers. This status gives IPs have the opportunity to advocate on behalf of their constituents in the CIF Trust Fund Committees and the CTF Trust Fund Committee.

Fund Governance

Decision Making Structure CTF is governed by the CTF Trust Fund Committee and the MDB Committee.

CTF Trust Fund Committee
The CTF Trust Fund Committee is the decision-making body responsible for determining and overseeing the operations and activities of the CTF. The governance structure gives equal weight to representatives from donor and recipient countries.

Committee composition:

  • Eight representatives from donor countries, identified through a consultation with contributors;
  • Eight representatives from eligible recipient countries, identified through consultation with interested and eligible recipient countries;
  • One representative of a recipient country under consideration for a programme, project or investment plan for that period of deliberation;
  • One senior representative of the World Bank; and
  • One representative of the MDBs, to be decided by the MDB committee and rotating across MDBs.

Representatives from donor countries and eligible recipient countries are decision-making members, and each serve two-year terms. Terms are staggered so that not all members are replaced every two years. If there are less than eight donor countries contributing to the CTF in any given year, the number of donor country representatives is reduced to equal the number of actual donors contributing to the CTF. Representatives may be reappointed.

The responsibilities of the CTF Trust Fund Committee include:

  1. Approving CTF programming and pipeline priorities, operational criteria, and financing modalities
  2. Endorsing investments
  3. Approving allocation of CTF resources for programmes and projects
  4. Ensuring the strategic orientation of the CTF is guided by the principles of the UNFCCC.

The list of actual Trust Fund Committee members is available at:

MDB Committee
The MDB Committee facilitates collaboration, coordination and the exchange of information, knowledge, and experience among MDB partners.

The MDBs will rely on individual policies and procedures in developing and managing activities financed by the CTF, but will report directly to the CTF Trust Fund Committee on operational matters. The list of MDB focal points is available at:

A graphic depicting the interactions between the CTF Trust Fund Committee and other CTF members/partners can be found at:

Accountability Mechanisms CIF
The CIFs don’t have their own independent accountability mechanisms. As all CIF projects and programs are implemented by partner MDBs, the CIF rely on their established transparency accountability mechanisms. In addition, the CIF commission third party evaluations as part of their own ‘Evaluation and Learning Initiative’. A list of over 30 studies and activities can be found here.

An Independent Evaluation of the CIF experience was requested by the CIF Trust Fund Committees and completed in 2014. The evaluation was conducted by a consulting firm selected and supervised by a joint working group of the independent evaluation offices of five Multilateral Development Bank (MDBS): ADB, AfDB, EBRD, IDB, and the World Bank.

Among the findings are the following:

  1. “The lack of a strategy w th respect to CIF’s sunset clause is causing uncertainty in operations”.
  2. “Efficiency and effectiveness has been hindered by the CIF’s complex architecture, consensus decision rule and lack of a secretariat with strong executive function”.
  3. “Some projects are plausibly transformational; other lack a convincing logic of transformation and impact”.
  4. “Aside from this report, there is no provision for independent evaluation at the national, Programme, or Fund level, or for a summative evaluation of the CIF”.

The CIF administrative unit has also been working with partner countries to understand their domestic frameworks for monitoring and evaluation. A strategic assessment of the environmental social and gender impacts of the CIF was completed in 2010, and IUCN conducted a Gender Evaluation of the CIF in 2012. More recently, a report evaluating the engagement of women and gender-related groups in the CIF was released in 2020.

The internal monitoring and evaluation framework of the CTF is described in its Monitoring and Reporting Toolkit (2014). This toolkit provides “guidance and reporting tools for the core indicators, based on the Revised CTF Results Framework. It is intended to help the MDBs and country project/programme teams provide consistent accurate data and information of the projected results and actual achievements of CTF projects/programmes”. In addition, the toolkit has been designed to be inclusive: CTF country focal points, project/programme implementation units/teams, MDB task teams and other in-country stakeholders have the opportunity to assess progress at both national level and the project/programme level.

Participation of Observers and Stakeholders The CTF Trust Fund Committee invites stakeholders and observers to its deliberations. They include: one representative each from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) as well as representatives from contributor countries other than member countries and eligible recipient countries Two representatives of the private sector or business associations (one from a recipient country and one from a contributor country), two Indigenous Peoples’ representatives and four representatives of civil society (one from a developed country, and one each from Latin America, Asia and Africa) serve as ‘active observers’ with the possibility to request the floor to make interventions, propose agenda items and recommend experts. However, not all sessions of the CTF committee meetings are open to all stakeholders. For instance, the deliberations over investment plans are closed executive sessions. These sessions are only open to government members of the committee and the MDBs.

The list of CTF active observers is available at:

Partnership Forum
The Partnership Forum serves as an annual gathering, which enables stakeholders to engage in dialogue on the CIF’s strategic directions, results and impacts. Forum stakeholders include representatives of donor and eligible recipient countries, MDBs, UN and UN agencies, the GEF, UNFCCC, the Adaptation Fund, bilateral development agencies, NGOs, Indigenous Peoples, private sector entities and scientific and technical experts. The Partnership Forum is co-chaired by the World Bank’s Vice President for Sustainable Development and a country representative elected by countries participating in the Partnership Forum.

Transparency and Information Disclosure Since March 2016 the CTF has published open results data on its website. Gross fund disbursements are reported in the Trustee Reports on the Financial Status of the CTF, and presented at each CTF Trust Fund Committee meeting. Details on individual projects are made public and available at:

Disclosure Policy
With respect to information disclosure, the CIF largely rely on the public information polices of the partner MDBs which implement CIF projects and programmes. They can be found here. In addition, in May 2009, the Trust Fund Committees approved a disclosure policy supporting in-country disclosure of country-owned investment plans and strategies (developed under the Trust Funds) prior to their submission to a CIF Committee for approval.

Proposed plans are also posted on the CIF website no later than three weeks prior to review of the proposal by a Committee. In the case of proposed programmes and projects, an information document describing the proposal is to be made public at least two weeks prior to a decision on the funding of the proposal.

The policy recognises that a country or a project proposer may have justifiable reasons for not publicly disclosing all information in an investment plan or project, and in exceptional cases, subject to Committee approval, certain information may be kept confidential.

Other Issues Raised Design
The CIF have been criticised for the speed with which they were designed, promoted and implemented. Specifically, the Partnership Forums are considered to inadequately include or consult civil-society actors. Recommendations for a more formal role for civil society representatives have been made. The CIF were also accused of creating parallel structures for financing climate change adaptation and mitigation activities outside the existing multilateral framework of the UNFCCC and in competition to funds under the UNFCCC and through a process dominated by G8 countries. Furthermore, although the Fund recognises UNFCCC principles, the language of the CIF implies that fund policies are guided but not bound by those principles.

The ‘clean technologies’ supported by the CTF are a primary concern within Congress, prompting questions on whether the CTF should be “technology neutral,” enabling funding for carbon-based investments. US lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), have opposed the inclusion of efficient coal-fired power plants within the definition of “clean energy”.

The Middle East and North Africa plan for concentrated solar power was criticised for:

  • Generating energy for export rather than increased access
  • Using water-intensive technology in a water-scarce region insufficient engagement with regional civil society actors.

MDBs administrative and overhead charges have been a cause of concern for some governments.