Green Climate Fund

Group picture of the GCF Board at its headquarters in Songdo, South Korea
The GCF Board at the headquarters in Songdo, South Korea, during its 22nd meeting in February 2019. © GCF

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is a global fund that was set up in response to climate change and invests in low-emission and climate-resilient development. It takes special account of the needs of developing countries, which are particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change. Switzerland shares a seat on the GCF Board with Finland, Hungary, Liechtenstein and Monaco.


The Green Climate Fund was set up by the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2010. For the first replenishment period (2020–23), contributions totalling some USD 10 billion have been pledged by over 30 countries. The Fund aims to make a significant and ambitious contribution to global efforts to tackle climate change. The GCF helps developing countries reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and enhance their ability to respond to climate change, taking into account the specific needs of those developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts. The GCF has committed to spending half its funding on climate change adaptation measures.

Priorities and functioning

The GCF finances climate activities in developing countries in the following areas:

  • Transforming power generation and access to clean energy
  • Building sustainable transport systems
  • Supporting climate-compatible cities and industries
  • Protecting forests and promoting sustainable land use
  • Supporting low-emission and climate-resilient agriculture
  • Preserving ecosystems and strengthening ecosystem services
  • Protecting the livelihoods of vulnerable communities

The Fund seeks to strike a balance in the allocation of funding between reducing greenhouse gases (mitigation) and adapting to the impacts of climate change (adaptation). The GCF also actively engages with the private sector to secure additional funds for developing countries.

The GCF's activities are implemented through accredited entities at international, regional, national and sub-national level. Cooperation with national contact offices ensures funding applications are aligned with national strategies and priorities.


The Green Climate Fund is led by a Board comprising 24 members, drawn equally from developing and industrial countries. The independent Secretariat in Songdo (South Korea), led by the Executive Director, is responsible for day-to-day operations, while the GCF Board makes strategic and funding decisions.

Switzerland and the GCF

Switzerland played an instrumental role in the founding of the GCF, particularly in the Fund's design and development phase. It contributed USD 100 million to the first capitalisation in 2015–17. As part of the first replenishment, this contribution was increased to USD 150 million for the 2020–23 period.  Switzerland is represented on the GCF Board, in partnership with Finland, Hungary, Liechtenstein and Monaco. Its involvement in the Green Climate Fund is coordinated through the joint PLAFICO platform, run by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). Switzerland supports the Fund's goals and principles, attaching particular importance to the following priorities:

  • Improving complementarity and coherence with other climate finance institutions
  • Optimising the network of partner organisations for impact-oriented project activities
  • Enhancing private sector engagement to mobilise additional funds
  • Promoting transparent, efficient and inclusive processes, and the effective deployment of funds

GCF portfolio

At the end of 2020, the GCF Board had pledged some USD 7.3 billion to support 160 projects in more than 100 countries. As a result of these projects, over 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases will be avoided and more than 400 million people will become more resilient to climate change. All projects are listed on the GCF website.