GEF Council Approves Work Program with Ten Climate Change Projects/Programs

15 November 2012: The 43rd Meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council adopted a Work Program that amounts to US$174 million and benefits 63 countries. Ten of the projects and programs approved focus on climate change.

The Council convened in Washington, DC, US, from 13-15 November 2012, at International Monetary Fund (IMF) headquarters. Representatives of governments, international organizations and civil society organizations (CSOs) attended the three-day meeting, which also included the 13th meeting of the Council for the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF). The meetings were preceded by consultations with CSOs on 12 November.

A keynote address by Francisco Gaetani, Vice-Minister of Environment of Brazil, helped set the stage for a discussion on the long-term vision for the GEF. Aram Harutyunyan, Minister of Nature Protection, Armenia, and Rachel Kyte, Vice President for Sustainable Development, World Bank, also contributed remarks to help frame this discussion. The Council also heard messages from two Executive Secretaries and the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP).

The Council approved decisions on: briefing on the replenishment process; relations with conventions and other international institutions; proposed framework for a financial mechanism for the future mercury convention and draft operational program for mercury; the progress report from the Director of the GEF Evaluation Office; the annual thematic evaluations report 2012 and management response; the annual impact report 2012 and management response; the annual monitoring review; streamlining of the project cycle; financial projections for GEF-5 programming options; the report of the selection and review committee; and the Work Program.

Projects and programs in the Work Program that are focused on climate change include: global support for preparation of national communications and biennial update reports for non-Annex I Parties under the UNFCCC (UN Development Programme (UNDP)/UN Environment Programme (UNEP)); an Umbrella Programme for National Communication to the UNFCCC (UNEP); Low-Carbon Urban Mobility for Large Cities in Brazil (Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)); Enabling China to Prepare Its Third National Communication (3NC) and Biennial Update Report to the UNFCCC (UNDP); Geothermal Power Generation Program in Djibouti (World Bank); Catalysing the Use of Solar Photovoltaic Energy in Iraq (UNDP); Catalyzing Market Transformation for Industrial Energy Efficiency and Accelerate Investments in Best Available Practices and Technologies in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)); Mexico's Sixth National Communication to the UNFCCC (UNDP); Energy Efficient Production and Utilization of Charcoal through Innovative Technologies and Private Sector Involvement in Sierra Leone (UNDP); and Promotion of Waste-to-Energy Applications in Agro-industries in Tanzania (UNIDO).

The LDCF/SCCF Council convened for its 13th meeting on the afternoon of 15 November, and adopted, inter alia, a Work Program that amounts to US$28.544 million for the SCCF and US$1.87 million for the LDCF. Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden announced new contributions to the LDCF and SCCF amounting to US$80.8 million.

On Thursday afternoon, the LDCF/SCCF and GEF Councils reviewed and approved the Joint Summary of the Chairs of the respective meetings. A Council member stressed that the highlights of the meeting should indicate that the Council had expressed its appreciation to the new CEO for her efforts to engage the Council and to renew the partnership on which the GEF was built, and that the Council found the Work Program to be well balanced, with projects that were innovative and scalable. CEO Ishii stressed that the meeting had accomplished the three goals she identified at the opening of the meeting: think of the future of the GEF; begin a new way of doing business to strengthen partnerships; and ensure that resources are effectively managed. She added that the GEF 2020 visioning exercise had been a highlight for her. Ishii closed the meeting at 3:25 pm. [IISD RS Coverage of the 43rd meeting of the GEF Council]