Ethiopia on its way to access the Green Climate Fund

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The Ethiopian government is in the process of gaining access to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) through the Climate-Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) strategy, established by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED).
The CRGE, upon accreditation by the GCF, will serve as a facility through which funding from the GCF will be channeled through to several national programs.
“Ethiopia is working on different programs that will be part of the second phase of the Growth and Transformation Plan. The programs focus on developing alternative energy sources, a sustainable agricultural sector as well as conserving degraded areas – steps which will contribute to a stronger green economy,” said Kare Chawicha, State Minister of Environment and Forest.
According to Kare, the country is also working on helping the transport sector shift from operating solely on fossil fuel to utilizing greener and cleaner renewable energy sources.
Green Climate Fund Executive Director Hela Cheikhrouhou said that although the Fund is not near where it needs to be in terms of capacity, it is still a good start.
“We believe that the discussion about the growing level of resources must continue because this fund was initially envisioned to channel a significant amount of the USD 100 billion a year. We are still far from that, but we have a good beginning to get us started,” she stated.
Cheikhrouhou also underlined the need for countries to come up with strong programs and projects that can bring about dramatic changes in the fight against climate change. She further said that there needs to be a strong sense of national ownership for proposed program in order to access the GCF.
“The fact that the money is small compared to the size of the challenge means that those entities that have been privileged enough to be accredited by the Fund need to have proposals that can bring radical changes and have strong justification for why these proposals and the implementation of the programs need to be financed by the fund,” Cheikhrouhou said.
“The Ethiopian government is one of the African governments that has, very early on and very seriously, taken on the task to access the readiness and preparatory support funding from the GCF. Several countries are in various stages of accessing the fund and Ethiopia is expected to be among the first to gain access,” she noted.
The GCF provides funding for projects and programs ranging from USD 50,000 to USD 250,000.
“We have applied and are working to access the maximum amount of funding. That does not mean that we will not be able to get more financing from the GCF in the future. In time, after progress has been made and has been assessed, the fund will also continue to support other programs we propose,” the State Minister said.
The Green Climate Fund was set up in 2010 to redistribute funds from the developed world in order to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change. By 2020, it intended to raise climate finance of USD 100 billion each, but only a fraction of this sum has been pledged as of July 2013. The Fund now has a little over USD 10 billion available.