Swiss contribution to the Green Climate Fund

Project completed

Switzerland is committed to supporting developing and transition countries in implementing climate measures. The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is a new multilateral climate fund, expected to become the main multilateral fund to support climate change action in developing countries, and complementing existing multilateral climate funds. Its mission is to finance low-emission and climate-resilient development programmes with a focus on the most vulnerable countries and communities

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Climate change and environment
Biosphere protection
Environmental policy
01.04.2014 - 31.12.2017
CHF  96’791’000
Area of responsibility

The GCF will assist developing countries in curbing emissions and becoming more climate-resilient. At the nexus of development and environment, the GCF is well positioned for the newly emerging Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda. While initial resources will come from Official Development Assistance (ODA), these are to be complemented through innovative sources including the private sector. The GCF has full legal personality and will be able to provide funds directly to a broad range of accredited entities, both national and international.

Through its direct access modalities, the GCF can provide funds directly to accredited national entities which is expected to significantly enhance country ownership and related capacity development. Initially, the GCF has funding windows for adaptation and mitigation, and a dedicated Private Sector Facility. This innovative facility will be key to achieve a comparatively high level of private sector engagement, including innovative ways to mobilize additional private sector investments. In the initial phase, GCF operations will begin with grants and concessional loans. Other financial instruments such as risk guarantees are to be added later. There is a link between funding of the GCF and the political agreement in UNFCCC. Lack of progress in the structuring and financing of GCF could affect progress in the negotiations for the new post-2015 UNFCCC treaty, and vice versa.

Switzerland's and the organisation's strategic priorities and their coherence

Internationally, the evolution of the GCF is based on a broad set of multilateral agreements and decisions that started in 2009. At Swiss level, the GCF is anchored in the current international cooperation mandate and resource envelope issued by the Parliament for the period 2013-2016.

The GCF opts for a resource allocation of minimum 50% to adaptation, of which minimum 50% to the most vulnerable countries. A special focus on the needs of the poor and the most vulnerable developing countries is fully in line with SDC’s and Switzerland’s strategic priorities for international cooperation. The relevant Swiss programmatic framework is defined in the Bill on International Cooperation 2013-2016. Through its established corporate priorities on (1) mitigation, (2) adaptation, (3) private sector engagement and (4) facilitation of direct access, the GCF delivers on the following explicit Swiss priorities: (i) prevention of crises and catastrophes, (ii) access to resources and services for all, (iii) promotion of sustainable economic development, and (iv) the concept of sustainable globalization.

The GCF will strive to maximize the impact of its funding by means of a gender-sensitive approach – one of the cross-cutting themes of the Bill on International Cooperation 2013-2016.

Results of the organisation's previous engagement

Not applicable. The first operational phase of the GCF will begin in early 2015.

Effect in Switzerland
  • Mitigation - Energy access for the poor through low-emission technologies: Increased access to clean energy for the 1.3 billion people without such access today.
  • Mitigation - REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) activities: Establishment of a dedicated sustainable forestry programme resulting in reductions of land- and forestry-based emissions.
  • Adaptation - Focus on most vulnerable countries and communities: Promote policies, allocation systems and operational parameters to maximize adaptation benefits for the vulnerable countries and groups.
  • Private sector engagement: Use of ODA to leverage private sector resources for climate action.
  • Consolidating effect of the GCF in the highly fragmented landscape of multilateral climate finance: the GCF is expected to operate at scale in areas where other institutions are currently active. This is expected to lead to consolidation, avoidance of duplication, and improved division of labor.
Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Other International Organization
  • Green Climate Fund

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    96’791’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    96’791’000
Switzerland's ranking in the DonorOrder

Given that initial pledging will only take place in November and is not subject to a formal burden-sharing agreement, we currently expect Switzerland to be among the top 10 donors, as in other multilateral funds.


The initial resource mobilization for the GCF is an open process from 2014 to 2017. Traditional donors will pledge first, at a Pledging Conference scheduled for November 2014 in Berlin. Expected major contributors in round one are the USA, Japan, Germany, the UK, France, Italy as well as Sweden, Denmark and Norway. In addition, several developing countries in the Middle Income Countries  category such as Mexico, Korea, or Colombia are also expected to contribute in this first round. The BRICS countries have agreed to pledge only in a 2nd round not yet scheduled. The fund will also be open for contributions from private sources. 

Coordination with other projects and actors

The initial resource mobilization process (CH-lead: SDC) takes place through a series of meetings among interested contributors. They have agreed on the Policies for Contributions, as well as the date and venue of a first Pledging Conference. Some contributions to the GCF will come from developing countries, most of which will then be both donors and recipients. The regular coordination exchange among traditional donors takes place within a forum of “non-recipients”; coordination with developing country donors takes place in the initial resource mobilization process.

Project phases Phase 2 01.09.2020 - 31.12.2023   (Current phase)

Phase 1 01.04.2014 - 31.12.2017   (Completed)