The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to assist in the protection of the global environment and to promote environmentally sustainable development. The Fund supports the implementation of several multilateral environmental agreements, and serves as a financial mechanism of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement. It is the longest standing dedicated public climate change fund. The GEF also administers several funds established under the UNFCCC including the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF).
|Name of the Fund||Global Environment Facility (GEF)|
|Official Fund Website||https://www.thegef.org/|
|Proposed Life of Fund||Indefinite.
The financial contributions to the GEF are replenished every four years. The Fund is currently in its 7th replenishment cycle, GEF-7: 2018 – 2022
The GEF Replenishment Cycles prior to GEF-7 are:
|Objectives||The overall objective is to secure a larger-scale and a more sustained impact on the global environment through partnership between the countries and other partners including NGOs, the scientific community and the private sector. Climate change with a focus on mitigation is one of several focal areas in the GEF. More specifically, the GEF’s climate change mitigation strategy “supports developing countries as they make transformation shifts towards low emission development pathways with three fundamental objectives:
The GEF funds adaptation not under its climate change focal area, but under two specialised trust funds created by the UNFCCC. More detailed information regarding the GEF’s climate change adaptation funding approach is available under CFU fund description pages for the Least Developed Countries Fund and the Special Climate Change Fund. Some adaptation funding for local communities and local initiatives is also provided under the GEF’s flagship Small Grants Programme (SGP).
|Financial inputs and fund size||The cumulative pledges to GEF-7 amount to USD 4.1 billion. However, the resource allocation framework distributes this funding among the five identified GEF focal areas, including the Climate Change Focal Area. The share of GEF-7 with a focus on climate change activities is approximately USD 802 million.
The contributing countries are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States.
Financial inputs into the GEF Trust Fund are fully eligible to be labelled as official development assistance (ODA).
|Activities Supported||The GEF Trust Fund supports a wide variety of mitigation strategies. Its main area of activities is the production and consumption of energy as it is the single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. GEF investments are geared to mitigate these emissions through specific projects including:
|Secretariat or Administrative Unit||The GEF Secretariat is based in Washington D.C. and is led by a Chief Executive Officer (CEO)-Chairperson, who is appointed for a four-year term by the GEF Council. The Secretariat has a staff of approximately 75 professionals and is divided into three administrative units: the Programmes Unit, the Policy, Partnerships, and Operations Unit and the Front Office (http://www.thegef.org/staff).
The Secretariat’s responsibilities include:
The Secretariat reports directly to the GEF Assembly and Council.
|Trustee||The World Bank is the permanent trustee.|
Fund Finance and Access Modalities
|Conditions and Eligibility Requirements||Countries are eligible for GEF funding in Climate Change if
Access to the Fund is not stated as being restricted to ODA eligible countries.
|Accessing the Fund||
|Safeguards, Gender and Indigenous Peoples||
|Decision Making Structure||The GEF governance structure is composed of the Assembly, the Council, 18 Agencies and a Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel.
Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP)
|Accountability Mechanisms||GEF Implementing Agencies are responsible for project implementation and are accountable to the GEF Council.
In accordance with accountability systems of the GEF Implementing Agency and the GEF Monitoring and Evaluation Policy, the Agencies have to conduct project-level monitoring and evaluation activities. Mid-term reviews need to be submitted to the GEF Secretariat whereas the projects terminal evaluation reports are submitted to the GEF Independent Evaluation Office.
Independent Evaluation Office
|Participation of Observers and Stakeholders||GEF presents itself as a country driven organisation that was “founded on the principles of collaboration and partnership”. Member countries are referred as Participants that are represented on the GEF Council by 32 Constituencies each one having a Council Member and an Alternate Council member.
In 2017, the Council approved an updated Policy on Stakeholder Engagement which sets out “the core principles and mandatory requirements for GEF agencies to meaningfully engage stakeholders in GEF programmes and projects to build on a broad base of local knowledge and expertise, and foster local engagement and ownership in support for positive global environment outcomes”. The Policy presents mandatory requirements for stakeholder engagement throughout the GEF project cycle.
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) are considered key partners for identifying, executing and monitoring GEF programmes and projects. GEF encourages civil society stakeholders to comment on project proposals, comment on policies, support and monitor project implementation, participate in GEF events. In addition, sponsored CSOs can attend the Council Meetings to relay the voices of CSOs from the field and maintain engagement on policy issues. Sponsored CSOs are selected in consultation with the CSO network, Operational Focal Points, the Indigenous Peoples Advisory Group and the GEF Small Grants Programme.
Indigenous Peoples have their own Advisory Group. This group was established in 2012 to enhance coordination between the GEF and Indigenous Peoples. The Group’s objective is to provide “advice to the GEF Indigenous Peoples Focal Point on the operationalization and reviewing of the Principles and Guidelines for Engagement with Indigenous Peoples and to provide guidance on financing options for Indigenous Peoples”.
|Transparency and Information Disclosure||The GEF Policy on Access to Information sets out the principals and mandatory requirements for the public accessibility of Council Information, thereby contributing to the transparent governance of the GEF.
The Financial Status Report contains the information on the progress of donor contributions and is available with other Council documents (GEF Council Meetings, Assembly Meetings, Replenishments) at: https://www.thegef.org/council-meetings
Details about individual GEF projects are included in the GEF project listing tool http://www.thegef.org/projects.
|Other Issues Raised|