Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF)

Climate Objective
Sectors and Themes
Disaster Risk Reduction
Economic Recovery
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
Fund Size

In the 20 years since its inception, the SCCF has invested $363 million in 88 projects.

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

In 2001, Parties to the UNFCCC established the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) to support adaptation and technology transfer projects and programs that: are country-driven, cost-effective and integrated into national sustainable development and poverty-reduction strategies. They also take into account National Communications or National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) and other relevant studies and information provided by the Party.

The GEF Programming Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change for the LDCF and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) (July 2018-June 2022) serves as a basis for programming resources under the SCCF. The goal of the strategy is to strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability to the adverse impacts of climate change in developing countries, and support their efforts to enhance adaptive capacity. To achieve this goal, the strategy emphasizes three strategic objectives for the SCCF:

  • Objective 1: Reduce vulnerability and increase resilience through innovation and technology transfer for climate change adaptation;
  • Objective 2: Mainstream climate change adaptation and resilience for systemic impact; and
  • Objective 3: Foster enabling conditions for effective and integrated climate change adaptation.

The fund is managed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and follows the GEF-7 Adaptation Strategy.

Purpose of Support
Project and program implementation
Funding Type
Monitoring and Reporting Procedures

During the course of the implementation, the Agency has the responsibility to submit Project Implementation Reports (PIRs) on an annual basis. For Full-sized Projects only, a mid-term review is required as well. This report is normally more detailed than a PIR. The Agency is also required to submit a Terminal Evaluation to the GEF Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) within 12 months following the operational completion of the project.

Organizational and Decision Making Structure

The GEF’s operational policies, procedures and governance structure are applied to the fund, unless COP guidance and the LDCF/SCCF Council decide otherwise. Its governing structure is composed of: the Assembly, the Council, the Secretariat, 18 Agencies, a Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP), and the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO).

The GEF Assembly is the governing body of the GEF in which representatives of all member countries participate. It meets every three to four years and is responsible for reviewing and evaluating general policies, the operation, and its membership; and for considering and approving proposed amendments to the GEF Instrument.

The LDCF/SCCF Council is the main governing body of the SCCF. It functions as decision-making organ with primary responsibility for developing, adopting, and evaluating SCCF policies and programs.

The GEF Secretariat coordinates the overall implementation of GEF activities, including day-to-day management of the SCCF. It services and reports to the Assembly and the Council.

The Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) provides independent advice. Its members are appointed by the Executive Director of UNEP, in consultation with the GEF’s CEO, the Administrator of UNDP, and the President of the World Bank.

The Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) informs decision-making on amendments and improvements; and promotes accountability for the effective use of resources while supporting knowledge management and learning.

The Trustee is the World Bank.

Eligibility Criteria

Since the SCCF is administrated by the GEF, countries seeking SCCF funding work with a GEF Partner Agency to submit project proposals. GEF Partners Agencies (GEF Agencies) are the only institutions that access GEF funding directly on behalf of an eligible recipient (government) for the design and implementation of GEF-financed projects. There are currently 18 GEF Agencies including UN agencies, multilateral development banks, international financial institutions, and NGOs. Projects can be executed on the ground by any organization, including private sector, civil society, government and non-governmental organizations.

Projects must be driven by the country (rather than by an external partner) and be consistent with national priorities that support sustainable development. SCCF is mainly available to projects that are endorsed by governments in eligible countries.

Eligible Countries

Non-Annex I Parties to the UNFCCC. The Fund gives priority to the most vulnerable countries to climate change. A list of eligible countries can be found here.

Information on how to
Understand steps to access

Because the SCCF is managed by the GEF, funds are accessed under GEF processes. Entities seeking funding work with the GEF Partner Agency of its choice to submit project or program proposals. The selection of the GEF Partner Agency is formalized through a letter of endorsement issued by the country’s Operational Focal Point, which is the country entity coordinating GEF activities within the country and appraising project ideas against eligibility criteria.

The process to secure funding varies depending on whether the activities relate to Full-sized Projects (GEF Project Financing of more than USD 2 million), Medium-sized Projects (GEF Project Financing of less than or equivalent to USD 2 million), or Programs (consisting of various distinct projects that could be either full or medium-sized). You can find additional information on project access below.

Click here for a more detailed explanation of the rules governing the cycles for GEF-financed Projects and Programs. Relevant templates and forms can be found here.

Find additional information on how to access GEF funding here.

Partner with a GEF Agency

Relevant country institutions and partners must partner with a GEF Agency to prepare the basic project concept or program framework. The selection of the GEF Agency is formalized through a letter of endorsement issued by the country’s Operational Focal Point (See Decision-making Information).

Click here for the list of GEF Agencies.

The complete list of Operational Focal Points, including name, position, government agency, complete address, phone, fax and e-mail, can be accessed here.

Submit a funding proposal

The GEF Agency, along with the project proponents, should first have a Project Identification Form (PIF) for projects and/or a Project Framework Document (PFD) for Programs approved by both the GEF Secretariat and LDCF/SCCF Council.

Once approved, the GEF Agency and project proponents develop the project concept into a complete project proposal, which includes developing the technical, risk mitigation, and business details. The process to secure funding varies depending on whether the size of the activity and required funding.

All relevant templates and field by field explanations for different types of projects can be found here.