Enhanced Direct Access to climate finance: "I wish I knew that at the start!"


This online workshop, as part of London Climate Action Week, heard lessons shared by entities that have managed the Enhanced Direct Access approach to accessing climate finance.

Last updated 03 July 2022
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Discussions during a planning meeting for new water infrastructure in Ga-Moela, South Africa (Photo: Moritz Hofstetter via FlickrCC BY-NC 2.0)

There is a significant need for climate finance to reach the local level so that communities, sub-national entities and local NGOs are equipped to act on their own priorities to adapt to climate change.

Climate funds like the Green Climate Fund (GCF) are a crucial source of finance under the Paris Agreement, but the process of gaining accreditation, developing project proposals and gaining approval is prohibitively long.

A process called Enhanced Direct Access describes a way in which countries can claim some decision-making power back from the board of the GCF and from the Adaptation Fund. Under Enhanced Direct Access, a national or sub-national entity that has direct access to the funds can make allocation decisions about sub-projects themselves.

Effectively the role of the fund becomes providing finance to tackle a given climate issue through an agreed-on methodology, while leaving the entity in the country to decide where to allocate the money.

Getting this set up is no easy task, and becoming accredited to the funds so that entities can access finance directly without going through an intermediary is a huge challenge in many countries.

This London Climate Action Week event brought together a panel of experts from entities that have managed the Enhanced Direct Access approach, capitalising on the lessons they've learned and what they wished they knew at the start.

They discussed challenges and how to overcome barriers to access – highlighting their lessons in planning for EDA, getting accredited to the funds, and project development and implementation.

About the speakers

Chat show host

  • UnaMay Gordon, principal director, Climate Change Division, Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Jamaica 

Chat show guests

  • Marianella Feoli, executive director of Fundecooperacion for Sustainable Development 
  • Mandy Barnett, chief director of climate change adaptation, South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) 
  • Christa-Joy C. Burton, project officer, Department of Environment, Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment, Antigua and Barbuda 
  • Michai Robertson, policy officer, Department of Environment, Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment, Antigua and Barbuda 
  • Silvia Mancini, senior program officer, Adaptation Fund 

Scene setting

  • Clara Gallagher, researcher (climate finance), Climate Change research group, IIED 

This conversation built on more than a year’s worth of evidence gathering of locally led adaptation in practice, funded by the UK government and delivered by IIED, World Resources Institute, South South North, Huairou Commission, Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI), Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI), Centro para la Autonomía y Desarollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, ENDA Energie, Save the Children Australia and International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD).

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Event coverage

A recording of the event is available below or on IIED's YouTube channel, where viewers are also able to use timestamps to go straight to specific speakers.