TWN Info Service on Climate Change (May14/05)
27 May 2014
Third World Network

GCF adopts decision on initial results management framework

Geneva, 27 May (Meena Raman) – The Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) adopted a decision on the ‘initial results management framework’ at its 7th meeting in Songdo, South Korea as one of the 8 essential requirements prior to the mobilisation of resources for the Fund. The decision was adopted on May 21.

Previously, at the 5th meeting of the Board in Paris last year (October 2013), members had agreed to the following initial result areas as areas of funding, in order to enable low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways:

“(a) Design and planning of cities to support mitigation and adaptation;

(b) Energy efficiency of buildings and appliances;

(c) Energy efficiency of industrial processes;

(d) Low‐emission transport;

(e) Low‐emission energy access;

(f) Small‐, medium‐ and large‐scale low‐emission power generation;

(g) Sustainable land use management to support mitigation and adaptation;

(h) Sustainable forest management to support mitigation and adaptation including afforestation and reduction of forest degradation;

(i) REDD+ (reducing emissions for deforestation and forest degradation –plus) implementation;

(j) Adaptation activities to reduce climate‐related vulnerabilities;

(k) Selected “flagship” activities cutting across adaptation result areas;

(l) Readiness and capacity building for adaptation and mitigation activities;

(m) Scaling up of effective community‐based adaptation (CBA) actions; and

(n) Supporting the coordination of public goods such as “knowledge hubs”.

The Paris decision also adopted an “initial performance indicators of the Fund” and agreed that the Fund’s results management framework will (i) enable effective monitoring and evaluation of the outputs, outcomes and impacts of the Funds’ investments and portfolio, and the Fund’s organizational effectiveness and operational efficiency; (ii) include measurable, transparent, effective and efficient indicators and systems to support Fund’s operations, including, inter alia, how the Fund addresses economic, social and environmental development co‐benefits and gender sensitivity.”

The decision in Paris also requested the Secretariat “to develop, for the consideration of the Board (at its recent meeting in Songdo), a detailed operational results management framework of the Fund, based on the initial results areas and core performance indicators and key criteria decided upon by the Board.”

The meeting in Songdo advanced the Paris decision by adopting “the elements of the initial results management framework of the Fund as outlined hereunder:

(i)  Levels of the logic model:
Paradigm shift objective; impacts (Fund level); project/programme outcomes; project/programme outputs; activities and inputs

(ii)  Initial mitigation logic model:
1) Paradigm shift objective for mitigation:

  • Shift to low-emission sustainable development pathways;

2) Fund level impacts for mitigation:

  • Reduced emissions through increased low-emission energy access and power generation;
  • Reduced emissions through increased access to low-emission transport;
  • Reduced emissions from buildings, cities, industries and appliances;
  • Reduced emissions from land use, deforestation, forest degradation, and through sustainable forest management and conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks;

3) Project/programme level outcomes for mitigation:

  • Strengthened institutional and regulatory systems for low-emission planning and development;
  • Increased number of small, medium and large low-emission power suppliers;
  • Lower energy intensity of buildings, cities, industries, and appliances;
  • Increased use of low-carbon transport;
  • Improved management of land or forest areas contributing to emissions reductions;

(iii)  Initial adaptation logic model:
1) Paradigm shift objective for adaptation:

  • Increased climate-resilient sustainable development

2) Fund level impacts for adaptation:

  • Increased resilience and enhanced livelihoods of the most vulnerable people, communities, and regions;
  • Increased resilience of health and well-being, and food and water security;
  • Increased resilience of infrastructure and the built environment to climate change threats;
  • Improved resilience of ecosystems and ecosystem services;

3) Project/programme level outcomes for adaptation:

  • Strengthened institutional and regulatory systems for climate-responsive planning and development;
  • Increased generation and use of climate information in decision-making;
  • Strengthened adaptive capacity and reduced exposure to climate risks;
  • Strengthened awareness of climate threats and risk-reduction processes;

The Board also adopted “the following core indicators for mitigation”: 

1) Tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2eq) reduced as a result of Fund-funded projects/programmes; (2) Cost per tCO2eq decreased for all Fund-funded mitigation projects/programmes; (3) Volume of finance leveraged by Fund funding, disaggregated by public and private sources”;

In relation to adaptation, the Board adopted “the following core indicator…”

 -  “Total number of direct and indirect beneficiaries; number of beneficiaries relative to total population;”

Some developed country Board members had also proposed the following core indicator for adaptation viz. “Volume of finance leveraged by Fund funding.” This indicator was resisted strongly by developing country Board members especially from Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Brazil who said that this was inappropriate for adaptation. It was removed from the final decision. 

The Board also confirmed “that performance measured at the paradigm shift and impact levels refers to the aggregate project/programme-based results of the Fund” and “acknowledged that the inputs, activities, and outputs will be defined for each project/programme on a case-by-case basis.”

It also affirmed “that national and sector-wide indicators will be used only at the discretion of the recipient country”. (This was stressed by the Board members from China and Brazil).
The Board also decided that “the results management framework should take a gender-sensitive approach and that the results should be disaggregated by gender where relevant.” 

The decision also requested “the Secretariat to further develop the mitigation and adaptation performance measurement frameworks of the Fund, engaging international experts as required, for the Board to consider at its third meeting of 2014, including an approach to gender, indicators on mitigation and adaptation, and methodologies, data sources, frequency, and responsibilities for reporting” and “to develop a logic model and performance framework for ex-post REDD+ results-based payments, in accordance with the methodological guidance in the Warsaw framework for REDD+”, for the Board’s consideration at its next meeting.

Below are some of the highlights of the interventions by Board members on the initial draft decision contained in the Secretariat paper on the matter and further iterations, prior to the adoption of the final decision:

Patrick McCaskie (Barbados) said the results management framework (RMF) first and foremost will need to be able to measure the performance of the Fund and monitor whether the Fund is achieving its objectives as spelt out in the Governing Instrument (GI) and the Board’s decisions. The (Secretariat) paper proposed that the GCF “should draw upon many useful Climate Investment Funds (CIF)/Global Environment Facility (GEF) /Adaptation Fund (AF) indicators, measurement tools, and reporting procedures” and that the GCF RMF evolves synchronously. The GCF, given its unique mandate, should become a standards setting institution.

He believed that the proposed project/programme level outcomes for adaptation are not conducive to funding concrete and high impact adaptation projects. Those envisaged outcomes are very much focused on achieving “process oriented” and “soft adaptation” results through regulatory changes, awareness and information sharing. He believed that  these results even if fully achieved, will not amount to the transformative and paradigm shift level objectives as set in this paper. He requested that the project/programme level outcome for adaptation be reviewed, as needed, in light of the “additional result areas and indicators for adaptation activities” to be submitted to the next Board meeting.

Liang Ziqian (China) said that in the RMF should adhere to the Paris decision in terms of management levels and specific indicators. He said all members had agreed that the result management should be project/program based, and indicators should be flexible and simple, which can evolve over time. The GCF, which still has no money and cannot afford such complicated and burdensome framework, he added. As indicated in the Secretariat paper, members should look at the experience and lessons of other entities such as the CIF, which still has no resources to carry out strategic level performance measuring. He added that some elements of the paper indicates the intention of making use of the GCF to set up a separate MRV (measuring, reporting and verification) mechanism outside of the UNFCCC negotiations process. As an operating entity of the financial mechanism of the UNFCCC, which should report to and be accountable for the COP, such efforts cannot be allowed, he said.

Angel Valverde Gallardo (Ecuador) said the objective of a RMF is to measure (whatever the difference may be from managing) the results of the financing in all possible areas of action that the wider objective of the Fund would entail. It is hasty to define what the results of funding will be without any knowledge of what the funding flows themselves are. The definition of result areas and performance indicators could not be enough until details on resource mobilization are defined because results for funding are dependent on its scale.  By talking about results-based allocation, the paper gives the impression that allocation can be made only when the results are met. The GI only says the GCF takes a results-based approach, which incentivizes recipient countries. Results cannot be a precondition for funding. Discussions on agriculture and forests, in a broader category of land use and their mitigation potential, effectively prejudge current negotiations under the UNFCCC.

David Kaluba (Zambia) expressed concerns about the proposed core indicator for adaptation being the volume of finance leveraged by GCF funding. This was a big challenge for small counties judging from the GEF experience. It is a big deterrent for access to resources by small countries.  He asked for caution in this regard. 

Sergio Serra (Brazil) supported China and also emphasised the need for coherence between the Paris decision and that decision to be adopted in Songdo. On reference to verification of country-wide results, he said that what was important is that the project which is funded by the GCF is part of the country’s climate change strategy plan. It is not about measuring the results country-wide.  He also sympathised with Kaluba’s concerns and said that having co-financing for adaptation is problematic as adaptation needs are very urgent.

Omar El-Arini (Egypt) said the GEF did not adopt the RMF at the very beginning (of its operations) and had it was adopted only after three years after replenishment. Even the World Bank did not have it at that time. In relation to the CIFs, there had been lots of field experience and still it experienced difficulties in relation to the RMF. He asked if monitoring results at the country level could be done and what is being measured- if it was about measuring impact, saving the climate or meeting the objective of the Fund?  He further questioned if it is really possible to have perfect results for something in the future by comparing what other funds are doing, without due regard from accumulating experience.

Dipak Dasgupta (India) said that document being considered was extremely complicated and was like the ‘tail wagging the dog” in considering impacts at the strategic level. There needs to be coherence between the scale of ambition and the impacts. He said that the logic model was unacceptable.

Anton Hilber (Switzerland) said that the GI and the Paris decision need to be respected. He said the paper is partly contradictory in this regard. Both ex-ante and ex-post approaches seem to be indicated which need to be aligned. 

Jan Cedergren (Sweden) said development effects are results not just for adaptation but also for mitigation. He supported the need for gender based disaggregated indicators. 

Kentaro Ogata (Japan) supported China and stressed the need for coherence with the Paris decision on initial result areas and indicators. The RMF indicators should be simple and measurable. 

Similar remarks on the need for coherence with the Paris decision on the RMF was stressed by Board members from Germany, Spain, France and Australia.

Josceline Wheatley (United Kingdom) said the GCF should not go along the route of the CIFs and the GEF and that there is need for changes in the paradigm indicators.

Per Callesen (Denmark) also called for the indicators to be consistent with the decisions that have been taken adding that the interpretation of the indicators appear complicated.

Henrik Harboe (Norway) said that the RMF should allow for a phased approach. He referred to ex-post payments which are payment for verified results. On REDD-plus indicators, he said the document was not consistent with the UNFCCC Warsaw decision and that needed to be addressed. 

Leonardo Martinez (US) the impact of the Fund in relation to mitigation is in reducing emissions. He also said that resources have to be set aside to measure results. On mitigation performance indicators, it is helpful to disaggregate between public and private flows.