Green Climate Fund (GCF)

Climate Objective
Sectors and Themes
Disaster Risk Reduction
Economic Recovery
Forestry and Other Land Use
Industry and Infrastructure
Nature-based Solutions and Ecosystem Services
Oceans and Coasts
Rural Development
Type of Support Provider
Type of Recipient
Public entity at the national level
Public entity at the sub-national level
Public entity at the regional level
International organization
Non-profit or civil society organization
Private sector
Community-level organization
Fund Size

Total GCF financing committed (USD) 12.0b

Co-financing Requirement
Application Timeframe

On a rolling basis.

Trustee or Administrator
World Bank
Contact Information
East Asia and Pacific
Europe and Central Asia
Middle East and North Africa
South Asia
Sub-Saharan Africa

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) was set up in 2010 and aims to promote the paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways by providing support to developing countries to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change, taking into account the needs of those developing countries particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is an operating entity of the Financial Mechanism of the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement.

GCF’s places a strong emphasis on country ownership, and activities should be aligned with the priorities of developing countries. Fund has established a direct access modality so that national and sub-national organisations can receive funding directly, rather than only via international intermediaries. The Fund also targets societies that are vulnerable to the effects of climate change, in particular Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and African States.

The Fund has identified 8 impact areas through which to deliver major mitigation and adaptation benefits:

Shifting to low-emission sustainable development pathways through:

  • Low-emission energy access and power generation
  • Low-emission transport
  • Energy efficient buildings, cities and industries
  • Sustainable land use and forest management

Increasing climate-resilient sustainable development for:

  • Enhanced livelihoods of the most vulnerable people, communities, and regions
  • Increased health and well-being, and food and water security
  • Resilient infrastructure and built environment to climate change threats
  • Resilient ecosystems

Within the GCF, funding is also available for project preparation activities and climate finance “readiness” . For project preparation support, the Project Preparation Facility (PPF) supports Accredited Entities (AEs) in project and programme preparation. It is especially targeted to support direct access entities, and micro-to-small size category projects. Please see the separate entries on GCF readiness support and the GCF Project Preparation Facility.

Support Provider

The Fund will receive financial inputs from developed country Parties to the Convention. The Fund may also receive financial inputs from a variety of other sources, public and private, including alternative sources.

Purpose of Support
Project and program implementation
Co-financing Requirement Details

Co-financing is not required for GCF projects – the GCF can pay the entire cost of a project if it deems that to be justified. However, the GCF does consider the amount of co-financing available when assessing the potential efficiency and effectiveness of a proposed project. Private sector actors in particular can expect to be required to show that they will utilize GCF finance to mobilize additional resources.

Funding Type
Loans (concessional and market-rate)
Monitoring and Reporting Procedures

Accredited Entities are responsible for monitoring and evaluating the projects they implement, as well as reporting their activities to GCF. On an entity level, the AEs are required to provide an annual self-assessment report, and go through light-touch mid-term review of the compliance performance in 2,5 years after accreditation. Accreditation of a given institution is reviewed every 5 years, if they wish to continue being accredited. On project level, GCF will continue to assess how Accredited Entities do this through the life of the project, and after its completion. This is done through regular reporting, which will measure the performance of project implementation against GCF’s investment criteria.

GCF project-related reports and assessment documents include:

  • Inception Report: helps to review and sequence activities and, if necessary, to reorganise the project work plan and implementation schedule.
  • Annual Performance Report (yearly and final): records the status of implementation of each project activity, updates achievement indicators against targets and identifies implementation-related problems and mitigation measures.
  • Mid-term Evaluation Report: presents preliminary or initial evaluation findings, measures and reports on performance to date and recommends adjustments (activities and outputs) that may need to be made to ensure the successful implementation of the project.

All GCF assessments follow the Fund’s Monitoring and Accountability Framework (MAF, available here), and its Performance and Management Framework (PMF, available here) for adaptation and mitigation. The Annual Performance Report will also indicate challenges or problems (if any) encountered during implementation, as well as identifying lessons learned.

Organizational and Decision Making Structure

The Green Climate Fund is an operating entity of the Financial Mechanism of the UNFCCC Convention and the Paris Agreement. It is accountable to and functions under the guidance of the COP. In order to ensure accountability to the COP, pursuant to Article 11, paragraph 3, the Board will: (a) Receive guidance from the COP, including on matters related to policies, programme priorities and eligibility criteria, and matters related thereto;(b) Take appropriate action in response to the guidance received; (c) Submit annual reports to the COP for its consideration and receive further guidance.

The Green Climate Fund is governed by a Board of 24 members representing developed and developing countries equally. Each Board member has an alternate member.

Representation from developing countries includes:

  • three members and three alternate members from the Asia-Pacific States;
  • three members and three alternate members from the African States;
  • three members and three alternate members from the Latin American and the Caribbean States;
  • one member and one alternate member from the small island developing States (SIDS);
  • one member and one alternate member from the least developed country Parties (LDCs);
  • one member from the developing country Parties not included in the regional groups and constituencies above; and
  • one alternate member to rotate between developing country Parties included in the groups and constituencies listed above.

The members and alternate members of the Board are selected by their respective constituency, or regional group within a constituency, to serve a three-year term. The Board usually meets three times a year, and decisions are made by consensus. The GCF has a gender and social inclusion policy within their operational framework.

Accreditation Panel: it provides independent advice to the GCF Board about individual applications for accreditation, as well as on development and operationalization of the guiding framework of the Fund’s accreditation process. It is made up of six senior experts, evenly balanced by representation from developed and developing countries, and is supported by a pool of external technical experts. Members of the Accreditation Panel serve for three years. Accreditation Panel members provide specialized knowledge on a range of issues feeding into accreditation decisions, including good practice in fiduciary principles and standards, environmental and social safeguards, gender-related issues, and recognized good practice in accreditation procedures.

Independent Technical Advisory Panel (ITAP): it assesses the funding proposals against the six GCF investment criteria. ITAP is an independent technical advisory body made up of six international experts: three from developing countries and three from developed countries.

The Secretariat: is responsible for executing the day-to-day operations of the Fund. It services and is accountable to the Board. The GCF Secretariat is headquartered in Songdo, Republic of Korea.

National Designated Authorities (NDAs) or Focal Points (FP): are the core interface between a country and the Fund. It seeks to ensure that activities supported by the Fund align with strategic national objectives and priorities, and help advance ambitious action on adaptation and mitigation in line with national needs. Find the list here.

Accredited Entities: The Fund will channel its resources through a network of public, private and non-governmental institutions operating at sub-national, national, regional and international levels that meet the Fund’s standards. These institutions need to be aligned with the Fund’s objectives and meet its fiduciary standards and environmental and social safeguards through a process of accreditation. A key role of NDAs/FPs is to identify suitable entities to be accredited to the Fund in order to support the country climate-related projects portfolio. NDAs/FPs provide letters of nomination to direct access entities. (more information in the section “Steps to access”).

Trustee: The Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) invited the World Bank to serve as interim trustee of the Green Climate Fund for a multi-year, renewable period of time. Its functions in this capacity include the receipt, holding and investment of financial contributions from contributors, transfer of financial resources pursuant to instruction by GCF, and preparation of summary financial reports. The GCF’s permanent trustee will be chosen through an open bidding process.

Eligibility Criteria

To receive money directly from the Green Climate Fund, entities need to be accredited as an “Accredited Entity” or AE. AEs can be international (like the World Bank), regional (like the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program or SPREP) or national (like a country’s environment ministry). A list of currently accredited institutions can be found on the GCF’s website. Note that entities that prefer to not apply for accreditation have the option of partnering with an institution that is already accredited.

There are two tracks for accreditation: direct access and international access. Direct access requires nomination from the relevant developing country government and is available only to national and regional entities. International access does not require nomination and is available to international and regional entities. See “Steps to access” section for more information.

Eligible Countries

Developing country Parties to the UNFCCC.

Information on how to
Understand the steps to access

To receive money directly from the Green Climate Fund (GCF), entities need to be accredited as an “Accredited Entity.” See sections “Other eligibility criteria” and “Type of recipient” for more details. Note that entities that prefer to not apply for accreditation have the option of partnering with an institution that is already accredited. 

One distinct feature of the GCF is the accreditation of national entities or entities operating regionally in developing countries as Direct Access entities. National and Regional Accredited Entities fall under the Green Climate Fund’s Direct Access modality, which enables entities to directly access financing and manage all aspects of climate change mitigation and adaptation projects, from design through implementation, to monitoring and evaluation. Direct Access allows developing countries to strengthen capacity to adapt to climate change and build on local expertise.

Click below to for additional guidance on where to find relevant materials (templates, guidance, etc.). For more information visit the Green Climate Fund Website. A list of Accredited Entities can be found here.

Access national readiness and preparatory support

National Designated Authorities, focal points, and direct access entities can access resources to help build their capacity to access climate finance.

Find an overview of GCF Readiness Programme here, and how to access readiness support here

Become an accredited entity

Organizations seen to have specialized capacities in driving climate action may apply to become GCF Accredited Entities. They can be private, public, non-governmental, sub-national, national, regional or international bodies.

Find out more about the accreditation process and how to become an accredited entity here

Develop strong concept notes and project proposals

Accredited entities that need support in project preparation can access the GCF project preparation facility to receive support in project identification, concept development, and project structuring.

Find an overview of GCF Project Preparation Facility here, and how to access project preparation support here

Submit a funding proposal

For those accredited entities that have their project defined, find an overview of how to bring a project proposal to GCF, from initial submission through to Board approval here

Involve the private sector

GCF can finance private sector projects relating to mitigation and adaptation activities at all levels. Private Sector Facility (PSF) to fund and mobilize private sector actors, including institutional investors, and leverage GCF’s funds. Find out more about how GCF engages with the private sector here