In practice

Advancing policy priorities with the Green Climate Fund using a co-ordinated approach

Key messages

Denmark has established an organisation strategy that publicly sets out the priorities and specific goals for its engagement with the Green Climate Fund (GFC). Denmark regularly collects inputs from embassies and partners to provide more valuable contributions to the Fund’s Board where it is jointly represented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities.

KeywordsEnvironment and climate, Multilateral institutions, Partnerships, Policy and guidance

Key partnerDenmark

Last updated28 June 2021

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Denmark considers engagement with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) as an opportunity to promote climate diplomacy and to be at the forefront of climate action internationally. To support the GCF in effectively carrying out its mission, Denmark aims to provide quality steer and advice through the GCF’s board. The challenge for providing strong and well-informed arguments lies in mobilising the full range of expertise and knowledge. This requires co-ordinating ministries and public agencies as well as drawing on feedback from wider partners with expertise on the GCF’s operations.


Denmark has been an active member of the GCF’s 24-member Board since it was established in 2012 where it shares a seat with the Netherlands and Luxembourg on an agreed rotation basis.

Denmark has an organisation strategy in place for the GCF as it does for other top-funded multilateral organisations. The strategy was developed jointly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and the Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities (MCEU). The strategy is published on MFA’s website.

Initial goals for Denmark’s engagement with the GCF included allowing the Fund to become operational and then to strengthen its focus on climate change adaptation. In line with previous strategies, the current 2021-23 organisation strategy sets out the following strategic priorities: i) maximising impacts of investments; ii) increasing the efficiency of the Board; iii) ensuring country ownership; and iv) strengthening safeguards and gender mainstreaming.

Denmark is jointly represented at the Board by one staff member from the MFA and one from the MCEU, ensuring close co-ordination between the two ministries. Denmark’s contribution to the GCF comes from the Climate Envelope, based on a shared initiative between MFA and MCEU.

The organisation strategy also commits the MFA and MCEU to collecting inputs on funding proposals and to monitoring the implementation of the Danish priorities with the GCF from Danish embassies, technical bodies (e.g. the Ministry of Environment and the Danish Energy Agency), Danish and partner countries’ civil society organisations, local governments, and the private sector.


Denmark’s enhanced engagement with the GCF based on its organisation strategy has led to the following actions and results:

  • Denmark strongly supported the implementation of the GCF Indigenous Peoples’ policy, which was adopted by the Board in 2018.

  • Denmark has been an active member of the Private Sector Advisory Group and led the process on developing a paper that elaborated how the private sector could be involved in adaptation.

  • Denmark’s influence has contributed to the process of strengthening the GCF’s results-based management framework, advocating for the design of adaptation-oriented indicators and measuring of actual results of GCF investments.

Lessons learnt

  • Transparency helps support good partnerships. By being available online and developed through a participatory process, the organisation strategy has helped to keep the GCF, other Danish public bodies and partners informed on Denmark’s expectations and priorities for the GCF, easing collaboration. In addition, the organisation strategy ensured continuity in the approach, despite staff turnover in the MFA and the MCEU.

  • The value of a joint representation on the GCF board. The collegial representation of the MFA and MCEU on the GCF Board has helped mobilise a broader expertise across the Danish government and engage with the GCF more effectively.

  • The benefit of collecting inputs from partners and embassies. Gathering inputs from partners in Denmark and developing countries as well as other embassies has provided Denmark’s representation at the GCF concrete examples, feedback and reality checks to support its requests and proposals to the Board, making its contributions more valuable and better received.

Further information

Danish Organisation Strategy for the Green Climate Fund 2021-23:

OECD resources

OECD (2021), Development Co-operation Peer Reviews: Denmark 2021: forthcoming on Peer reviews of DAC members - OECD.

To learn more about Denmark’s development co-operation:

OECD (2021), "Denmark", in Development Co-operation Profiles, OECD Publishing, Paris,