What is it about?

To help developing countries mitigate the worst impacts of climate change, the UNFCCC set up the Green Climate Fund (GCF). GSF’s goal was to finance projects that would help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Being the world’s largest climate fund there needs to be accountability, not only to the financiers but also to those who are affected by projects funded by this intergovernmental organisation. To this end, the GCF created the Independent Redress Mechanism (IRM) to address complaints and grievances regarding projects being funded by the GCF. This paper goes through the key responsibilities of the IRM, which include addressing concerns regarding funding decisions and non-compliance to GCF policies during the project implementation.

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Why is it important?

Looking at how the IRM ensures accountability within the GCF, the paper discusses how the plaintiffs can voice their concerns with the IRM and the possible solutions the IRM takes to address them. The authors point out that the IRM can only make non-binding recommendations to the GCF Board, and it is up to the Board to act on those recommendations. Despite this, the IRM is unique in that it can self-initiate proceedings without a complaint based on its observations and media scanning – a prerogative that helped take action against a project in Peru that was deemed harmful to the indigenous communities in the region. Despite the limited number of cases to evaluate the effectiveness of the IRM, the authors applaud the transparency and thoroughness of the decision-making process taken by the IRM in investigating complaints and highlight how the IRM enforces compliance through pressure and persuasion tactics. KEY TAKEAWAY: While the legal power of the IRM is limited, it allows complaints to be addressed directly to the source of the funding. This facilitates direct accountability. However, only time will tell if the measures taken by the IRM are effective at solving real-world cases.

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Accountability at the Green Climate Fund: Taking a Look at the Independent Redress Mechanism, Environmental Policy and Law, December 2020, IOS Press,
DOI: 10.3233/epl-200211.
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