Climate finance, justice, and the Green Climate Fund: More than rhetoric?

Ms Pia Treichel1

1University of Melbourne, School of Geography, Parkville, Melbourne, Australia


The latest funding commitment in the international climate agreements is for $100bn/year to be delivered to developing countries for climate action by 2020, with the bulk of this money expected to flow through the Green Climate Fund (GCF). To respond to justice concerns, vulnerable countries are prioritised in these agreements to receive financial support, and the GCF has emphasized the importance of ‘country-ownership’, adopting an option of ‘direct access’, whereby national or subnational organizations can be accredited to the GCF and then implement projects themselves without needing to go through the large, international, United Nations (UN) (or UN-like) organizations. There is also an aim to fund mitigation and adaptation efforts equally. However, the evidence to date shows that the GCF is overwhelmingly channelling funds through traditional multilateral routes, and that it is delivering far less than 50% towards adaptation. It is therefore unclear if the GCF can effectively deliver on the climate justice promise that was central to its genesis. This paper will explore the limitations inherent in the GCF’s approach by analysing the priorities and preferences it has exhibited thus far, in particular the process by which it accredits entities to administer projects.


After finishing her Masters of Environment at the University of Melbourne in 2008, Pia has spent the past ten years working as a climate specialist with various NGOs (both environmental and human-rights focused organisations) and UN-agencies.

Pia is now a PhD Candidate with the University of Melbourne’s School of Geography and the Climate and Energy College.

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