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 decision 12/CP.2 and 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. 

Annual Reports

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.

Paris Agreement

COP 21 decided that the GCF and the GEF, the entities entrusted with the operation of the Financial Mechanism of the Convention, as well as the Least Developed Countries Fund and the Special Climate Change Fund, administered by the GEF, shall serve the Paris Agreement. The COP also decided that the guidance to the entities entrusted with the operations of the Financial Mechanism of the Convention in relevant decisions of the COP, including those agreed before adoption of the Paris Agreement, shall apply mutatis mutandis.

Article 9 of the Paris Agreement states that the institutions serving this Agreement, including the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism of the Convention, shall aim to ensure efficient access to financial resources through simplified approval procedures and enhanced readiness support for developing country Parties, in particular for the least developed countries and small island developing States, in the context of their national climate strategies and plans.

Recent Developments

At COP 22, the COP adopted a number of decisions with relevance for the GEF.

Guidance provided in decision 11/CP.22: Report of the Global Environment Facility to the COP and guidance to the Global Environment Facility
The COP noted the report of the GEF to the COP and the responses of the GEF to the guidance from the COP.

Furthermore, the COP:

  • Welcomed the decision of the GEF Council to begin the process of updating its minimum agency standards and fiduciary policies;
  • Welcomed the GEF Council’s approval of the GEF’s policy on ethics and conflict of interest;
  • Reiterated its call in decision 11/CP.22, paragraph 2, to ensure a robust seventh replenishment in order to assist in providing adequate and predictable funding, taking into consideration the Paris Agreement as well as the request of the COP to the GEF contained in decision 11/CP.22, paragraph 3;
  • Requested the GEF to enhance the consultation process with developing country Parties and other stakeholders in the context of the GEF replenishment process;
  • Noting the importance of the existing allocation for climate change, the COP requested the GEF to further consider the needs and priorities of developing countries in the allocation for the climate change focal area in its seventh replenishment period;
  • Requested the GEF to continue implementing in its seventh replenishment period its established policies for grants and concessional funding, in support of developing country Parties, in line with the provisions of the Convention, relevant decisions of the COP and the Instrument for the Establishment of the Restructured GEF;
  • Welcomed the operationalization of the Capacity-building Initiative for Transparency and projects approved during the reporting period, and requested the GEF to provide adequate support to assist developing country Parties, in line with decision 1/CP.21 paragraph 86;
  • Noted the GEF Council decision GEF/C.50/07, and its conclusions, and invited the GEF to further consider ways to improve its access modalities for developing country Parties, including small island developing States and the least developed countries;
  • Requested the GEF, as appropriate, to ensure that its policies and procedures related to the consideration and review of funding proposals be duly followed in an efficient manner;
  • Encouraged the GEF to further enhance engagement with the private sector, including in its technology projects;
  • Invited the GEF to allocate provisions in the climate change focal area of its seventh replenishment for supporting developing country Parties in undertaking technology needs assessments and piloting priority technology projects to foster innovation and investment;
  • Invited the GEF to include information in its reports to the COP on:
    • The collaboration between the GEF focal points and the national designated entities for technology development and transfer, as communicated by the CTCN to the GEF;
    • Whether and how Parties have used their System for Transparent Allocation of Resources allocation for piloting the implementation of the technology needs assessment results.

Last updated: 28 November 2017