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With the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference approaching, much focus has been set on the development on the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The GCF is a mechanism initiated by UN Convention on Climate Change to counter the impacts of climate change through mitigation and adaption in developing countries. To date, the Fund has raised USD $10.2 billion dollars, which is to be divided over the next four years to promote low-emission and climate-resilient development.
An interview with Karen Orenstein from Friends of the Earth U.S. shed light on some of the challenges that are surfacing in the development of the Fund and an inconsistency of theory versus practice. While the GCF governance structure is made up of half developing and half developed countries, an underlying problem is whether these leaders are representative or responsive of their people. As explained by Orenstein, one of the 8 approved projects might serve to be problematic as it appears that a national credited entity might not be respecting the rights of indigenous communities in their respective country. Orenstein stresses the need for local and national civil society and community involvement in shaping the proposals of the GCF.
While the Fund does offer the opportunity for entities to apply directly, it can pose as an issue in terms of leaving enough space for national entities to apply when large international banks have equal access. Furthermore, large financial institutions such as the Deutsche Bank are on the list of accredited entities despite their financing of coal and their poor human rights record. While the Fund is intended to meet the needs of developing countries, creating business for large financiers such as the Deutsche Bank undermines the very purpose of the GCF.
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