(The Philippine Star) | Updated October 17, 2013 - 12:00am
LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – Albay Gov. Joey Salceda was elected recently as chairman of the $100-billion Green Climate Fund (GCF), during the GCF’s fifth meeting in Paris from Oct. 7 to 10.
Salceda becomes the first Asian to chair the world’s most ambitious attempt to combat the impacts of climate change on the side of developing countries.
The GCF is the finance arm of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC). Its chairmanship is shared by co-chairs, one for developed countries now assumed by the German representative, and one for developing countries won by Salceda.
The GCF, also known as the Fund, was established by the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in December 2011 and is intended to help developing countries adapt to the impacts of climate change. In pitching for his candidacy, Salceda said the Fund “should prompt positive consequences in the lives of ordinary people”.
The 24-member board – now co-chaired by the Philippines – oversees the operation of the Fund, which has pledges of $100 billion by 2020, and approves the funding of projects in line with the Fund’s principles, criteria, modalities, policies and programs.
With 2014 as the target for the operationalization of the Fund, Salceda said he aims to make the Fund work for developing countries, including Small Islands Developing States, Least Developed Countries, Africa, and highly vulnerable communities in countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, and Bangladesh.
The fund was initially set at $20 billion per year in the first three years and $100 billion thereafter, in the next five years.
Salceda, UN’s senior global champion for climate change (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) became a member of the board in April 2012, backed up by an approval recommendation from President Aquino.
Salceda’s chairmanship of the GCF was first brought up during the 4th meeting in Songdo, South Korea last June. He said it “signified trust from his peers; no greater burden than a great potential, a job that is worth the burden”.
The GCF board is composed of 48 member- developed and developing nations, among them Australia, the United States, Britain, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, Italy, Norway, China, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Spain, Latin American, African and Asian countries.