The Green Climate Fund GCF, which is the financial mechanism of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, intends to expand its portfolio of climate change projects in Eastern European and Central Asian countries. In order to improve the countries’ understanding of opportunities for engaging with the GCF, as well as sharing knowledge and experience in accessing its resources through a variety of support programs and funding mechanisms, The Structured Dialogue of the GCF was held from September 11 to the 14th in with Eastern European and Central Asian countries.
The four-day forum was opened by Tajikistan’s Deputy Prime Minister Zokirzoda Mahmadtoir Zoir and brought together representatives from 13 countries across the region to accelerate responses to climate change. Participants included representatives from Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
This is the first time the GCF has engaged in a large-scale meeting involving two regions and saw the participation of representatives of the National Designated Authorities NDAs, environmental and ecological agencies, organizations nominated for accreditation, experts from international accredited organizations, as well as civil society associations and representatives of the private sector.
As with many other parts of the world, Eastern Europe and central Asia face considerable challenges from the onset of climate change, manifested through extreme weather patterns, and accompanied by the rise of negative effects in forest and land use, water management and energy efficiency. This in turn has affected food security, led to an exacerbation of poverty, and increased the vulnerability of those who are already prone to climatic impacts.
It is obvious that climate finance can play a big part in stimulating new paths of developing climate activities in the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The ability of the region to obtain the necessary resources to solve these problems is crucial for minimizing the social and economic problems associated with climate change, as well as for promoting development through low emissions.
Responding to numerous project ideas and proposals over the past couple of years, the GCF has so far committed more than USD 390 million for funding of climate research in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. And there has been a further leveraging of over USD 1 billion in co-financing from other climate finance sources.
The dialogue provided a platform for discussion among the participants to further adopt specific climate actions. To do this, the Dialogue also stressed the importance of country programming to adapt the country's economy to climate change and development goals, as well as the importance of accrediting national organizations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia to obtain direct access to GCF resources.
The Dialogue also served as a platform for establishing partnerships in the region to satisfy the requirements for mitigation and adaptation to climate change.