UN-backed climate fund faces wave of abuse allegations from staff

The UN-backed Green Climate Fund, the world’s largest climate finance institution, is facing a wave of internal misconduct complaints including allegations of sexism and harassment in the workplace, and criticism over the death of an employee from coronavirus.

Seventeen current and former employees told the Financial Times they had witnessed or been the victim of misconduct, including abuse of power, racism, sexism, harassment and inappropriate relationships at the fund’s 330-person headquarters in the South Korean city of Songdo. All of the individuals who spoke to the FT asked to remain anonymous.

The GCF has raised more than $17bn and financed more than 140 projects. It is the main funding body to help poor countries achieve the goals of the 2016 Paris climate change accord but has faced previous criticism over its board-level decision-making and project selection.

A group of current and former staff, calling themselves the “Re-Green Initiative”, has written to some employees to collect testimony about the new allegations.

“The management of the GCF will be held accountable for their actions,” the group said in the letter seen by the FT. The fund’s mission had been “jeopardised”, the letter said, “by the personal interests of a handful of persons, embedded in…

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