Institutional innovations and their challenges in the green climate fund: Country ownership, civil society participation and private sector engagement

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Abstract

This article investigates the institutional innovations within the Green Climate Fund (GCF), a new international organization that finances climate mitigation and adaptation in developing countries. In particular, donor–recipient parity in decision making, civil society participation and private sector involvement are explored. The aim of this study is to lay the institutional groundwork for a larger study that will be analyzing the effect of these institutional innovations on the design and result of the fund’s projects. An exploratory qualitative case study approach is used that includes the review of the secondary literature, official sources from the GCF, participant observation and semi-structured interviews. This article concludes that the GCF indeed implemented important institutional innovations that are unique for a major international organization. At the same time, this article reveals that these innovations have created some important challenges for the functioning of the fund. For example, donor–recipient parity, in combination with consensus orientation, initially led to gridlock. It is also difficult for the GCF to balance the goal of transparency and civil society participation with the need for secrecy of private contracts and a speedy process demanded by the private sector.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8827
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume12
Issue number21
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Civil society participation
  • Climate finance
  • Development cooperation
  • Green Climate Fund
  • International organizations
  • Multi-stakeholder governance
  • Public–private partnership

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