Establishing project selection criteria for adaptation is a general problem and the Green Climate Fund perhaps faces the largest challenge in this respect.

The Performance Review of the Green Climate Fund (see PDF) noted that current GCF investment criteria:

  • are very broad and not well defined;
  • when applied across the project portfolio, there is not much difference between evaluations by the  the Secretariat and by independent Technical Advisory Panel ratings. 

The small differences in ratings indicate that these investment criteria are not a good investment prioritisation tool. 

Moreover, the review concluded:

  • investment criteria do not give sufficient weight to the climate dimension;
  • consider mainstreaming “climate value” into the investment criteria. Climate value questions are available (e.g., examples of selected guiding questions currently used by other institutions to establish climate adaptation relevance) and further guidance for articulating these elements is being developed by the GCF, see PDF.

Several of the current selection criteria have indicative assessment factors (including indicators) related to climate (e.g., greenhouse gases avoided, beneficiaries, reduced vulnerability) but do not provide enough weight to this core value of the GCF. Indeed, this aspect is currently subsumed under paradigm shift, impact potential or other criteria, and has led to a situation where guidance on strengthening the “climate rationale” in GCF projects is being developed by the GCF. However, it is proposed not to include climate rationale as an investment criterion.

Draft proposed categories of criteria are:

A. Climate change risks, impacts, and vulnerabilities

B. Project / programme design considerations

What type of adaptation is being pursued:

  • reducing adaptation deficit (Why are poor countries more vulnerable to climate events than rich countries?)
  • incremental, or transformational adaptation? 

C. Governance context

D. Project / programme cost

This framework may represent a generic approach to designing adapation criteria for buildings and infrastructure.

This item complements a blog item "COP 25 outcomes".

Updated December 2019

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