GCF leadership met with ambassadors and representatives of its partner countries in the Republic of Korea as part of the 4th meeting of the ‘Group of Friends of GCF’. Representatives of 36 countries engaged in networking and discussed the latest climate change developments and the Fund’s vital work. It was also an opportunity to bid farewell to the GCF Executive Director, Yannick Glemarec who completed his term on 2 April 2023.
Yannick Glemarec and Henry Gonzalez, GCF Deputy Executive Director, gave remarks and presented updates on the Fund’s programming and operations as GCF winds down its first replenishment period and gears up for its second replenishment this year. They also shared details on the leadership transition from Glemarec to his successor Mafalda Duarte who was recently appointed as GCF’s new Executive Director and will take over the leadership in July.
Ambassadors, counsellors, and Green Climate Fund executives gather for the GCF ‘Group of Friends’ meeting at the Grand Hyatt in Seoul, 31 March 2023.
Starting the meeting, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, H.E. Ambassador Nabeel Munir, also the co-chair of the Group of Friends in 2023, reiterated climate change as the defining challenge of our time. He also stated: “We hope that the second replenishment of the Green Climate Fund will be a success, and our developed country partners will commit sufficient financial resources, enabling the Fund to deliver on its mandate. It would also be a great trust builder, as we go to Dubai for COP 28.”
Before that, Ambassador of France, H.E. Philippe Lefort, who had passed on chairing the group to the United States and Pakistan, took note of the strong leadership provided by Glemarec, who was attending his last meeting with the Group of Friends: “He has done so much to strengthen the Fund's capability to carry out its mission, to increase its effectiveness and its agility. I wanted to thank him for this.” Ambassador Lefort also highlighted the upcoming Summit for a New Global Financial Pact that will be convened in Paris on 22-23 June 2023 to “foster innovative solutions for a more responsive, fairer and more supportive international financial system.”
The Minister-Counselor for Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Mr. Andrew Herrup, recalled the U.S. national commitment to the Paris Agreement and shared Pakistan’s view of the climate crisis as a threat requiring global action: “The United States is proud to co-chair this year with Pakistan. This year is an opportunity to promote the transition to a net-zero global economy, increase finance for adaptation, and build resilience to climate impacts.”
Glemarec thanked the representatives for their contributions to the Fund’s work, repeating the immediate need to scale up finance to meet the needs of developing countries struggling to deal with climate change in their countries and the importance of supporting GCF for its second replenishment.
Glemarec said: “It is no longer the cost of transitioning to a greener economy that is holding developing countries back in their efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Instead, it is the cost of finance needed to access this technology that is holding them back, and it is the Green Climate Fund’s primary mission to close this funding gap. Our work towards the goals of this mission depends on the continual support of our friends and the successful replenishment of the Fund in 2023.”
For more information on the recent work of GCF, see the GCF-1 Progress Report.
For more information on the GCF replenishment, see GCF-2.