Green Climate Fund defends new partners Deutsche Bank, World Bank

Officials say new partners will no longer bankroll fossil fuel projects

ADDIS ABABA, 14 July 2015 – Green Climate Fund (GCF) officials defended yesterday the decision to endorse known fossil-fuel project funders Deutsche Bank and the World Bank as partners, saying that the Fund’s accreditation procedures confirmed “they will not do it again” and that this widens as well financing choices for developing countries.

The recent GCF accreditation of the two institutions as international financial intermediaries was one of the questions raised at a GCF-organized event during the third UN Financing for Development conference, which started yesterday here in the Ethiopian capital.

“This does not show prioritization of national ownership and direct access but a continuing preference for using international financial intermediaries, previously agreed as only secondary mechanisms,” said Mae Buenaventura, deputy coordinator of the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD), who attended the GCF side event. She added that accrediting entities with records of funding fossil fuel projects in developing countries “further casts doubt on the capacity of the GCF to achieve truly transformational ends.”

The Fund’s executive director Héla Cheikhrouhou, who was part of the panel, explained that the fund complied with national ownership by giving developing countries the choice of who to work with from around 20 entities, which now include World Bank and Deutsche Bank. She and GCF board member Atsuyuke Oike, representing Japan, pointed out GCF’s monitoring procedures give assurance against entities departing from the Fund’s objectives and engaging in business-as-usual measures.

“Accrediting entities who are party to the climate crisis in one way or another do not constitute an expansion of options for developing countries. The very actors involved in causing the increasingly catastrophic climate change impacts we suffer today should not be among the choices. This is like being asked to entrust the repairs of your house to those who wrecked it,” said APMDD coordinator Lidy Nacpil from Manila.

An APMDD statement protesting the GCF decision and asking for a reversal stressed that “intermediaries should be held to the highest fiduciary and financial accountability standards, as well as have the capacity for enforcing social-economic and environmental safeguards. But weighed against these measures, both Deutsche Bank and World Bank are found wanting.”

Both institutions were scored by the Asian alliance as “among the biggest bankrollers of dirty energy,” with no indication of withdrawing. Deutsche Bank in particular was fined thrice in 2015 for rigging interest rates, giving out misleading information and for lax controls over money laundering. The bank has also been investigated several times reportedly on suspicions of tax evasion, currency manipulation, money laundering, and the mis-selling of derivatives.


The Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development (formerly Jubilee South–Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development) is a regional alliance of peoples' movements and organizations, coalitions, and nongovernmental organizations.

CONTACT: Mae Buenaventura (in Addis Ababa, ) or Denise Fontanilla (in Manila, )