Green Climate Fund

Group picture of the GCF Board at its headquarters in Songdo, South Korea
The GCF Board at the headquarters in Songdo, South Korea, during its 14th meeting in October 2016 © GCF

The Green Climate Fund is a global climate fund created to respond to climate change by investing in low-emission and climate-resilient development. It takes into account the needs of developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Switzerland shares a seat in the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board with Finland and Hungary.


The Green Climate Fund was established by the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2010. Its mission is to make a significant and ambitious contribution to the global efforts towards attaining the goals set by the international community to combat climate change. The Fund provides support to developing countries to help limit or reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapt to climate change, taking into account the needs of those developing countries particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

Priorities and functioning

In order to maximise the impact of its funding, the GCF prioritizes investments in the following areas:

  • climate-compatible cities

  • low-emission and climate-resilient agriculture

  • protection of forests

  • enhancing resilience in Small Island Developing States

  • transforming energy generation and access to clean energy

In allocating its financial resources, the Fund seeks to achieve a funding balance between mitigation and adaptation. In addition, it strives to enhance the involvement of the private sector in order to mobilise additional financing.

The GCF works through international, regional, national or subnational Accredited Entities (AEs) and intermediaries to implement its activities on the ground. By interacting with National Designated Authorities (NDAs) it ensures consistency of funding proposals with national plans and strategies.


The GCF is governed by a non-permanent Board of 24 members, equally drawn from developed and developing countries. Headed by an Executive Director, the independent Secretariat in Songdo (South Korea) is responsible for the daily management of the Fund.

Switzerland and the GCF

Switzerland has played an instrumental role in operationalizing the GCF, notably by taking part in its design and setting up phase and by hosting the first GCF Board meeting in 2012 in Geneva. As part of the initial resource mobilization of the Fund, Switzerland contributes US$100 million for the period 2015 to 2017. It is currently represented on the Board, sharing a developed country seat with Finland and Hungary. At the domestic level, Switzerland’s engagement with the GCF is managed jointly by SECO, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). Switzerland shares the objectives and principles of the GCF and attaches particular importance to the following key priorities:

  • Increased investment in low-emission energy and enhanced support for sustainable land use and forest management
  • Strengthened adaptive capacity and resilience of the most vulnerable countries and communities
  • Enhancing the involvement of the private sector in order to mobilise financial aid to support the climate policy of developing countries
  • Ensuring transparent and inclusive procedures and the effective use of funding
  • Improving complementarity and coherence with other climate finance institutions and implementing a gender-responsive approach

GCF portfolio

The Board of the GCF approved the first funding proposals in late 2015. More than US$ 1.3 billion in GCF resources was committed to programmes and projects in 2016. The Fund has hitherto secured pledges from over 40 contributors, including some developing countries, totalling US$ 10.3 billion. Of this amount US$ 9.9 billion have been converted into signed contribution agreements.