Info Service on Climate Change (Jul15/08)
New Delhi, 16 July (Indrajit Bose) — After accrediting 20 entities to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Board of the GCF adopted a decision at its recently concluded meeting in Songdo, South Korea, to further develop an initial monitoring and accountability framework for accredited entities.
(The Board, had at its previous meeting in March this year, accredited 7 entities, and a further 13 were accredited at the just concluded session. The accrediting of the entities at the 10th Board meeting was controversial, with concerns raised both by developing country Board members and CSOs alike on some of the entities who were viewed as posing a reputational risk to the GCF). (See TWN Climate Info: GCF accreditation poses reputation risk for the Fund, say civil society, of 14 July).
The Board decided that accreditation of an entity to the Fund would be valid for five years and any re-accreditation would be “based on the assessment conducted by the Secretariat and the Accreditation Panel (AP)”.
The decision states that the framework will focus on compliance with the Fund’s environment and social safeguards, fiduciary standards and gender policy. The Secretariat was tasked to further develop the monitoring and accountability framework and provide more details on provisions such as corrective actions for non-compliance, implementation of compliance checks, and local monitoring. The Board will consider this again at its 11th meeting, planned in Zambia in early November this year.
The decision though came after considerable discussions among the Board members on a progress report by the Secretariat on the monitoring and accountability framework. Developed country Board members from the United States, Canada and Sweden pushed for a decision on the issue at the meeting.
Caroline Leclerc (Canada), in her intervention in support of a decision, also referred to the concerns expressed by Meenakshi Raman of Third World Network, active observer to the GCF, on problem entities being accredited to the Fund. Raman, for the civil society constituency, had criticized the accreditation of entities such as Deutsche Bank and World Bank (see: GCF accreditation poses reputation risk for the Fund, say civil society).
Leclerc said that during the accreditation decision, Board members had “had a very rich discussion on the issue which would have reassured Meena ( referring to Raman), if she had heard it. (Discussions on the entities had happened in an executive session, which was not open to observers.) “We have a very professional and strong AP in ensuring mitigation of risks,” said Leclerc, calling for a decision on the issue.
David Kaluba (Zambia) though expressed a number of concerns on the progress report presented to the Board. He sought clarification around several issues ranging from the role of the national designated authorities (NDAs) and laid down detailed monitoring guidelines (see highlights of exchanges below).
After further discussions, Co-chair Gabriel Quijandria (Peru) suggested that interested Board members to get together and draft a decision.
By the time the decision was presented to Board members, it was well past the closing time of the meeting. Board members further deliberated on the decision, which was finally adopted early morning of 10 July, when a number of developing country Board members had left the room.
Leonardo Martinez-Diaz (US) added it was only a “process decision” that asks the Secretariat to develop further elements for monitoring and review and to work with civil society.
full decision adopted reads as follows:
Requests the Secretariat to further develop the monitoring and accountability
framework for consideration by the Board at its 11th meeting, in particular
providing more detail about:
(f) Requests the Secretariat, when further developing the monitoring and accountability framework, to do so in consultation with the Accreditation Committee and entities accredited by the Fund, and engaging a wide group of stakeholders, including women, including through a call for public input.”
Highlights of Interventions
Leonardo Martinez-Diaz (US) said that the document is to ensure that accredited entities are reaching the standards of the Fund. He said that it is important to give the matter a push at the 11th meeting and have a decision on the issue.
Jan Cedergren (Sweden) said that the accreditation term should be five years and to review any accreditation would have to be a Board decision.
Caroline Leclerc (Canada) said some of the elements in the paper need strengthening. She suggested using the risk management framework and to re-examine mid-term review visits by the Secretariat. She also wanted to understand the reason for emphasis on fiduciary standards in the progress report. “We have to look at the balance between performance and results,” said Leclerc.
Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven (Germany) said the ‘Monitoring and Accountability Framework’ is linked to knowledge management within the Secretariat and added that there needs to be a robust, participatory process with respect to implementation of projects on the ground.
Omar Al Arini (Egypt) said the Board has to be mindful of the activities to be undertaken by the (accredited) entities. He sought clarification on how this (the monitoring and accountability framework) would fit with the work of the independent evaluation unit and how it would be reflected in the framework. He said it is important to reflect this in the accreditation master agreement and asked if monitoring indicators would be there in the project proposal itself.
David Kaluba (Zambia) raised the following issues:
Ali’ioaigi Feturi Elisaia (Samoa) called for a very strong accountability framework and asked for procedures for entities complying with the Fund’s policies.
Martinez-Diaz said since it is a complicated issue and it needs more thought and feedback from the Secretariat. He suggested a skeletal decision that lays out further work. Stefan Marco Schwager (Switzerland) supported Martinez-Diaz.
Andrea Ledward (UK) said there should be a mid-term review, to ensure the process is not bureaucratic and to limit costs of the Secretariat and the accredited entities.