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Global Environment Facility



The relationship between the Conference of Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council was agreed in a memorandum of understanding (MOU) contained in (PDF) decision 12/CP.2 and (PDF) decision 12/CP.3.  As outlined in the MOU and pursuant to Article 11.1 of the Convention,  the COP provides regular guidance to the GEF, as an entity entrusted with the Financial Mechanism of the Convention, on policies, programme priorities and eligibility criteria for funding.  The MOU also stipulated that the GEF reports annually to the COP. In order to meet the requirement of the GEF's accountability to the COP, the annual report of the GEF will cover all GEF-financed activities carried out in implementing the Convention, whether such activities are carried out by the GEF Implementing Agencies, by the GEF Secretariat or by executing agencies implementing GEF-financed projects. 

The MOU further stipulated that the GEF report should include specific information on how it has applied the guidance and decisions of the COP in its work related to the Convention. This report should be of a substantive nature and incorporate the programme of GEF activities in the areas covered by the Convention and an analysis of how the GEF, in its operations related to the Convention, has implemented the policies, programme priorities and eligibility criteria established by the COP. In particular, a synthesis of the different projects under implementation and a listing of the projects approved by the Council in the climate change focal area as well as a financial report with an indication of the financial resources required for those projects should be included. The Council should also report on its monitoring and evaluation activities concerning projects in the climate change focal area.


Recent developments

At COP 19, Parties decided to request the GEF mainly:
  • To clarify the concept of co-financing and its application in the projects and programmes of the GEF;
  • To further specify the steps that it has undertaken in response to the request regarding the national adaptation plan process, contained in decision 9/CP.18, paragraph 1(c);
  • To include in its report to COP 20 information on the modalities that it has established in response to paragraph 5 of the memorandum of understanding between the COP and the Council of the GEF (reconsideration of funding decisions);
  • To give due consideration in its sixth replenishment period to funding for small island developing States and the least developed countries in order to enable them to address their urgent needs and to comply with their obligations under the Convention;
  • To support, within its mandate, the implementation of country-driven projects identified in the technology needs assessments prepared by developing country Parties.

Furthermore, the GEF was encouraged by the COP to continue with its voluntary National Portfolio Formulation Exercise and to finalize the accreditation of new project agencies and assess the possibilities for further expanding the direct access modality.

The Standing Committee on Finance (SCF) is requested to provide to the COP at each of its sessions, beginning in 2013, draft guidance for the GEF, based on its annual reports and the views submitted by Parties. In preparing such guidance, the SCF has been taking into account the recent developments by the GEF including the negotiation on the sixth replenishment and the GEF 2020 strategy. At the same time, the GEF has been also invited by the COP to strengthen its collaborative efforts with the SCF.

COP 19 also called upon developed country Parties, and invited other Parties that make voluntary
financial contributions to the Global Environment Facility, to ensure a robust sixth replenishment in order to assist in providing adequate and predictable funding.


Latest COP Decision

pdf-icon Decision 6/CP.19

Report of the Global Environment Facility to the Conference of the Parties and guidance to the Global Environment Facility
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GEF annual reports to COP
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Relevant GEF documents/links

GEF Council

GEF replenishment

Fifth Overall Performance Study of the GEF (OPS5)

GEF 2020 strategy

pdf-icon Updated Handbook for Conducting Technology Needs Assessments for Climate Change

pdf-icon System for Transparent Allocation of Resources (STAR): Options and Scenarios