TWN Info Service on Climate Change (Sept11/05)
15 September 2011
Third World Network

Meeting of Green Fund design committee ends with roadmap
Published in SUNS #7218 dated 15 September 2011

Geneva, 14 Sep (Meena Raman) - The third meeting of the Transitional Committee (TC) to design the Green Climate Fund (GCF) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) ended in Geneva with the adoption of a roadmap that sets out the process for the preparation and adoption of a draft report of the Committee for the 17th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP) to be held in Durban, South Africa, late November this year.

The fourth and final meeting of the TC is to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, from 16-17 October, where the members will consider and adopt the draft report, which will include any operational documents that the TC deems appropriate for the approval of the COP.

Given the strong and divergent views among TC members on several key aspects in the design of the GCF and with only two negotiating days set for the final meeting in Cape Town, some members of the TC from developing countries have expressed grave concerns over the process for the drafting of the final report.

Ms. Bernarditas Mueller of the Philippines stressed the need for a transparent and inclusive process that will ensure a balanced outcome.

The 40-member TC was mandated by the decision in Cancun last year to develop operational documents according to its terms of reference for the design of the GCF and make recommendations for the COP's approval.

For the meeting in Geneva, the Co-chairs and Vice-chairs of the TC had prepared a "Draft outline of the report" which contained various elements.

From the start of the meeting on 11 September till the morning of the final day (on 13 September), TC members had intense discussions on five key issues: (i) the relationship between the GCF and the COP; (ii) legal status of the GCF; (iii) the establishment of an independent secretariat including the selection of its head; (iv) the use of funding windows; and (v) engagement of the private sector.

There were major disagreements among TC members in several key areas as in the relationship between the GCF and the COP, the legal status of the GCF and the engagement of the private sector. (See TWN Information Service on Climate Change, #Sept11/03 dated 12 September 2011 and #Sept11/04 7217 dated 13 September 2011).

The Co-chairs, Vice-chairs and Co-facilitators (of four work-streams) presented a document in the afternoon on their "reflections", which they said was "based on the work done in previous sessions, discussions held and submissions presented".

The document states that "it reflects areas that would be included in the final outcome of the TC and, to the extent possible, provides guidance on the content without prejudice to the specific language, placement or final format. It is expected that this document be complemented by the TC members, through further discussions and interactions, and serves to facilitate the preparation of the draft report that would be considered" at the next TC meeting in Cape Town.

The "reflections" document is basically similar to the earlier "draft outline report" prepared by the Co-chairs for the Geneva meeting, with some changes in the details.

The main headings of the elements in the document are: objectives, guiding principles, scope, governance and institutional arrangements, legal status, participation/membership, financial instruments, operational modalities, engagement of the private sector, environmental and social safeguards, monitoring and evaluation, accountability mechanism and stakeholder input and participation.

There were strong initial reactions from several TC members, both from developed and developing countries, on critical aspects of the elements which showed a clear divergence of views on areas such as the objectives, guiding principles, governance and institutional arrangements, legal status and engagement of the private sector. (Further details will be in a forthcoming article).

According to the roadmap, the Co-chairs, Vice-chairs and the Co-facilitators (comprising a group of 12 persons) will prepare an initial draft report by 23 September, based on the discussions held at the Geneva meeting and submissions received.

From 23 September to 5 October, the group of 12 persons "will consult all TC members, individually or in groups, on elements of the draft. The draft will reflect the outcome of these consultations."

The draft report will then be circulated on 7 October for consideration at the fourth TC meeting.

At the fourth meeting in Cape Town from 16-17 October (with an informal working dinner for TC members on 15 October), the draft report will be considered for adoption.

The Co-chair of the current meeting, Mr. Trevor Manuel from South Africa (who co-chaired the Geneva meeting with Mr. Ketjil Lund from Norway) described the process as "putting members in a pressure cooker" so that the final meeting will have a document for members to consider.

Ms. Bernarditas Mueller from the Philippines, in response to the roadmap, stressed the need for a transparent and inclusive process to ensure the participation of TC members in the development of any text of the report.

She said that the co-facilitators had an important role to play in ensuring this. Referring to the joint submission by 13 countries on the design of the GCF, she said that it covered all aspects of the elements and hoped that the Co-chairs, Vice-chairs and Co-facilitators would produce a balanced document, reflecting all the submissions.

Mr. Jorge Ferrer of Nicaragua expressed concerns over how the process was going to incorporate the views of 40 TC members. He was also worried about the duration of the final meeting (which was only set for two days), as the draft report will have serious legal implications.