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The Environment and Energy Thematic Trust Fund

A funding mechanism for innovative and catalytic initiatives
The Environment and Energy Thematic Trust Fund (EE TTF) gives seed money to innovative and catalytic initiatives. This allows UNDP to quickly deploy resources into new business areas, thereby responding to new global or partner country demands.

It supports the work within the four Key Result Areas of the UNDP Strategic Plan that guides UNDP’s work in the area of environment and sustainable development. These are:

  1. Mainstreaming environment and energy;
  2. Catalyzing environmental finance;
  3. Scaling up action on climate change; and
  4. Expanding access to environmental and energy services for the poor.

Without the EE TTF a number of UNDP’s most successful and visible initiatives would not have been possible. These flagship programmes in turn have helped UNDP to raise the profile of environmental issues in development programming.

From 2001 to 2004, the Energy and Environment Practice managed two separate TTFs, one for Environment and one for Energy. As per Executive Board decision in 2004, the Energy TTF was merged with the TTF on Environment to form a new TTF on Environment and Energy as of the beginning of 2005.

The new EE TTF also complements and supports synergies with the services and policies supported under UNDP's other environment-related trust funds, which include the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol (MLF).

Donors and Allocations
Thematic Trust Funds in general are the operative instrument to help UNDP mobilise resources to meet the development priorities of partner countries. The resources channelled under the Thematic Trust Funds supported the UNDP Multi-Year Funding Framework (MYFF) and from 2008 on the “UNDP Strategic Plan, 2008-2011: Accelerating global progress on human development”, approved by the Executive Board, and enable donors to provide additional contributions to UNDP for its thematic activities. The EE TTF is a flexible co-financing modality, specifically designed for the rapid approval of proposals and swift disbursement of funds at the country level, which allows UNDP to receive targeted resources. Since 2001, approximately US$ 49.8 million in funding have been channelled through the Thematic Trust Fund. The EE TTF complements UNDP’s regular work funded core resources and from other trust funds such as the GEF and the MLF.

Total contributions to the EE TTF during the period 2005-2008 were US$ 31,865,178. In 2008, the EE TTF received contributions amounting to US$ 6,384,747 from the Governments of Norway, Luxembourg, Austria, and Germany. Spain and Sweden have also contributed to the EE TTF in previous years which were partially spent in 2008. Total 2008 expenditures amounted to US$ 7,371,894.

Contributions from donors to the EE TTF can be made through three different “Windows”:

  • Country Windows: for funds earmarked to specific countries for thematic activities
  • Regional Windows: for funds earmarked to specific regional programmes for thematic activities
  • Global Windows: for non-earmarked thematic contributions, for country, regional, and global use

Management Arrangements
The Bureau for Development Policy (BDP) is responsible for TTF management and oversight, working through Programme Teams composed of BDP and Regional Bureau staff. The BDP Director has the overall responsibility for the TTF as the designated Trust Fund Manager. However, the day-to-day management has been delegated to the Practice Director.

A documentation of the results achieved in the initiatives supported can be found in the EE TTF 2008 Annual Report and in those of previous years. Without the initial inputs from the EE TTF, many of UNDP’s most successful initiatives would not have been possible.The accomplishments of the Thematic Trust Fund on Energy (2001-2004) are broadly documented in its 2004 Report.

The Way Forward
UNDP has launched key environment and sustainable development initiatives that respond to today’s demands. UNDP will continue to address climate change adaptation and mitigation as outlined in its Climate Change Strategy. As the UN agencies find joint ways to work together to mainstream environment and energy into national agendas and to catalyse finance to implement national actions to achieve the MDGs, the EE TTF is an excellent mechanism to up-scale such consolidated actions.