Growing number of multinational banks becoming conduits for UN climate funds means money will not reach certain projects, NGOs warn

The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi has been accredited by the Green Climate Fund, despite concerns raised by NGOs (Photo:っ/Commons)

Civil society organisations warn that the Green Climate Fund’s (GCF) decision this week to accredit more private banks will disadvantage poor countries.

Speaking to Climate Home at the end of the 17th GCF board meeting held in Songdo, South Korea, Lidy Nacpil, said private banks are increasingly dominating the fund yet they are profit driven. Nacpil is coordinator of the Asian People’s Movement on Debt and Development.

Accredited institutions help the GCF deploy funds to developing countries by assisting national institutions develop proposals and receiving funds from the GCF on their behalf.By March last year, the GCF had accredited 22 entities among them three multi-national banks – Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Credit Agricole. At its recent meeting on 6 July, the board further accredited the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi (BTMU), much against protest from NGOs observing the process.

“Banks tend to prioritise mitigation projects, which tend to be energy systems that intend to reduce carbon emissions,” said Nacpil. The balance between mitigation, mostly the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through technological fixes to the energy system, and adaptation, protecting against the impacts of warming, is a key climate finance issue.

Nacpil said public institutions and NGOs prioritise adaptation projects which are financed through grants thus benefitting poor countries whose urgent need is to cope with climate…