Local funding must be UN climate fund's priority for effective fight against climate change

Press release, 4 April 2017
As the United Nations' Green Climate Fund board meets on 4 April, IIED director Andrew Norton said: "The Green Climate Fund needs to seize this crucial opportunity and ensure money is used more effectively by directly channelling it to poor communities.

"This is particularly urgent given the US government's threat to cut its climate funding – the only donor with a target for funding local partners. 

"Currently, just four per cent of the US$1.5 billion committed by the Green Climate Fund flows directly to partners in the poorest countries. By channelling more money directly to the local level – through local government, local banks and community based organisations – the fund will both be more effective in supporting action to fight climate change and making sure that every penny counts.    

"This money must be distributed fairly among countries, including the least developed countries, and across regional, national and local levels to meet the priorities of the poor and help tackle dangerous climate change. 

"It is crucial the fund provides the least developed countries with the support they need to manage this finance. This can be done by establishing national mechanisms and simplifying access for small-scale activities so community projects are measured against simpler standards than those used for multi-million dollar projects."

Media enquiries

For more information, contact Beth Herzfeld, IIED senior media officer on +44 (0)7557 658 482 or email beth.herzfeld@iied.org.

Notes to editors

  • The US is the largest contributor to the Green Climate Fund, having committed US$3 billion, which equates to 30 per cent of all finance committed to date. But only 10 per cent has been provided so far.
  • Only four per cent ($55.6 million) of all finance committed is being channelled through national entities in the least developed countries. 
  • For more information on this issue, see the IIED report 'Delivering real change: getting international climate finance to the local level'
  • IIED is a policy and action research organisation. It promotes sustainable development to improve livelihoods and protect the environments on which these livelihoods are built. IIED specialises in linking local priorities to global challenges. Based in London, UK works in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and the Pacific, with some of the world’s most vulnerable people to strengthen their voice in the decision-making arenas that affect them – from village councils to international conventions.