What makes a GCF project cross-cutting?

Stakeholders are unclear about what constitutes a cross-cutting project. How does this impact project development?

One of the defining characteristics of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) is the 50/50 balance it seeks to strike when funding adaptation and mitigation projects. In theory, this split should make it easy to track the GCF’s funding impact. In practice, however, projects are rarely so easily definable.

The GCF has a third project category – for “cross-cutting projects”. What makes a project cross-cutting remains unclear, leaving stakeholders to interpret the term for themselves. At the latest Board Meeting, several expressed their frustrations, directly criticising the lack of clarity provided by GCF. “It’s a very grey area,” said Ayman Sahsly, citing a USD 420 million project that was labelled cross-cutting despite only being seven percent adaptation. Liane Schalatek, an active observer for CSOs, agreed, adding that the ambiguity surrounding cross-cutting projects undermines the transparency of GCF. “If we’re not careful,” she cautioned, “this [will] skew the balance” and prevent GCF from meeting its 50/50 balance.

How does the current uncertainty impact GCF project development? What should count as cross-cutting?

E Co’s latest GCF insight unpacks the issues and gathers valuable feedback from practitioners. Ahead of the GCF’s fifteenth board meeting, E Co. surveyed GCF stakeholders to understand how the GCF’s cross-cutting category is changing the way projects are developed. 

Read about these findings and download the report here. We hope you find it useful – feel free to let us know what you think.