Climate Change

Accelerating climate action through collaboration

FAO’s Green Climate Fund portfolio is thriving thanks to continuous collaboration and unwavering teamwork across the Organization


Did you know? The number of FAO-led funding proposals approved by GCF grew exponentially in 2019 from two in 2018 (in El Salvador and Paraguay) to six in 2019 (adding projects in ChileKyrgyzstanNepal, and Pakistan). This raised the value of the portfolio to USD 426.6 million – of which USD 228.8 million is GCF grant financed.

The six FAO-led projects will improve the resilience of vulnerable family farmers to climate change in El Salvador; combat deforestation and boost farmers’ resilience to the adverse impacts of climate change in Paraguay; reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Chile; promote carbon sequestration in Kyrgyzstan; mainstream climate resilience into vulnerable ecosystems in Nepal, and enhance the climate resilience of farmers in Pakistan’s Indus Basin.

CBC acts as the FAO focal point for GCF, assisting member countries in policy development, planning and responding to the challenge of climate change. “Working together, FAO and GCF facilitate climate finance flows to developing countries so as to strengthen their capacities to build resilience and mitigate the effects of climate change,” says René Castro, (ADG CBD).

“The achievements of 2019 are a testament to FAO’s commitment to supporting developing countries as they transition towards sustainable development pathways,” says Nadine Valat, FAO’s GCF Team Leader. “Tackling the climate crisis requires collective action, which is why people from across the Organization, from headquarters to regional offices to country offices, transcended time zones to get the work done.”

FAO’s work as a delivery partner with the GCF Readiness and preparatory programme has also seen unprecedented results. Fifteen FAO-led Readiness proposals were approved in 2019, compared to eight in 2018, and three in 2017, reaching a total number of 29 projects – including three approved in early 2020. 

GCF’s Readiness and preparatory support programme assists countries with the development of the policies, plans and capacities needed to scale up climate action – National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), sector-specific adaptation and investment planning for the agricultural sectors, country-owned pipeline development, and REDD+ readiness.

The total value of FAO’s GCF portfolio (considering both FAO-led funding proposals and Readiness and Preparatory Programmes) amounts to approximately USD 442 million. “These results show that developing countries are increasingly seeking out climate finance to develop their capacity for long-term strategic development,” says Roberto Ridolfi (ADG-PSD). “FAO can play a key role in helping countries to mobilise and utilise large flows of climate finance.”

Agriculture, forestry and other land use cause almost one-quarter of human GHG emissions; tropical deforestation and forest degradation account for 11 percent, according to the recent report, FAO’s Work on Climate Change. Yet agriculture and food systems are a big part of the climate solution. FAO finds that restoring agricultural land and degraded soils can remove up to 51 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in total and raise food production by 17.6 megatonnes per year.

Innovation is crucial to unlocking the potential of climate-friendly investment for low-emission, climate-resilient development. With new GCF proposals and projects in the pipeline across regions, FAO will leverage its comparative advantage, bringing key actors to the table to create synergies through coordinated action and co-financing.