CSO Updates on the 32nd Green Climate Fund Board Meeting – Day 4

by Claire Miranda of APMDD – The Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development

Day 4 – 19 May 2022

The last day of B32 was shorter than expected. Many of the agenda items were covered fast and the Board appeared to be in a rush in adopting them.

The Report on the Activities of Co-Chairs was opened to adopt the Board committee guidelines and the guidelines of in-between Board Meetings (BBM) decisions.

On the Board committee guidelines, the BM from Pakistan raised opposition on having the proposed review of committees, panels, and groups of GCF Board committees be conducted as early as B33. He proposed these done in B34 instead to give more time and see how the committees will function. He also opposed a portion of the decision text mandating the Board to consider necessary amendments on the committee guidelines based on the outcomes of the review, whether such review will take place on B33 or B34. This proposal was accepted by the Board and the new Board committee guidelines were adopted, along the proposed review of the said guidelines on B34.

On the guidelines of BBM decisions, the Co-Chair from France noted that after extensive consultations for the past 4 days, the Board failed to arrive at consensus on several matters, specifically on the tagging of issues and/or policies as “urgent” that warrant the Board to address these via BBM. As there was no consensus, the draft decision text proposed by the Co-Chairs merely included the process in determining the cases where a BBM may be requested.

The BM from Sweden, while not objecting to the proposed decision text, raised his disappointment and added that the Board should develop guidelines that will determine what qualifies as “urgent” and/or “time-sensitive” and be addressed in between Board Meetings. The BM from the US was also not satisfied with the decision text specifically on the exclusion of consultations from Active Observers (AOs) in the decision text. He furthered that while the Rules of Procedure (RoP) mandates the Secretariat to gather all written submissions, including those from the AOs, some BBMs are adopted before the said submissions are read by the Board. While not opposing the decision, the BM from the US urged that his concerns be reflected in the minutes of the meeting.

The Board was also able to resolve the issues surrounding the Dates and Venues of Upcoming Board Meetings. While BM from Sweden maintained to oppose the new proposed schedule citing the need for predictability in scheduling GCF Board meetings, he requested for a reopening of the Rules of Procedure to ensure that meeting dates are not moved easily and need not be reconfirmed. In the same debate, the BMs from Spain, Pakistan, and Ghana argued for flexibility in format and schedule of meetings, depending on circumstances, to accommodate all BMs and ensure their active participation.

After several back and forths and offline consultations among concerned BMs, the Board was able to approve the following final dates of upcoming GCF Board meetings:

  • B33 – 17-20 July 2022 as an in-person meeting in the Republic of Korea

  • B34 – 17-20 October 2022 as an in-person meeting in the Republic of Korea

  • B35 – 13-16 March 2023

  • B36 – 10-13 July 2023

  • B37- 23-26 October 2023

The Report of the thirty-first meeting of the Board, an information document which was transmitted to the Board 2 weeks after the meeting, was also easily adopted. However, agenda item 8c. Policy Consultations on the Guidance and Scope of providing support to Adaptation Activities, opened on Day 2 and received many opposing views from the Board, was deferred. The co-chair from South Africa urged the Secretariat to continue consultations with concerned BMs and come up with the revised decision text in the next Board Meeting.

As the meeting closed, the BM from the US Mathew Haarsager mentioned that it will be his last GCF Board Meeting and that he will be replaced by another one of his colleagues from the US Department of Treasury. The co-chair from France also delivered the GCF’s message of thanks to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, with special recognition to the efforts conducted by the BM from Antigua and Barbuda Nadia Henry-Spencer, her advisors and the GCF Secretariat, for making B32 possible and fruitful. With this, he then ended B32 and looked forward to B33 this coming July in South Korea.

The 32nd GCF Board Meeting ended at 1:06 PM Antigua and Barbuda time.

You can watch the live webcast and proceedings of B32 here: https://www.greenclimate.fund/boardroom/meeting/b32#videos