Giving favoured access to climate finance and clean technologies is critical to enabling developing countries to transit to a low carbon economy and society. Global climate finance to developing countries is set to rise with the establishment of the Green Climate Fund. To be effective, climate finance must reach and be prioritised by the communities that need it most and be used to fund solutions that work on the ground. To achieve this, mechanisms need to be put in place to channel the money from the national level to local communities in a way that is transparent, participatory and efficient. The institutional architecture of existing devolved or decentralised government provides a ready-made framework which offers good value for money and will be sustainable as finance flows increase in the future. The authors’ analysis of the Adaptation Consortium in Kenya indicates that devolved County Climate Change Funds are proving to be an effective mechanism to deliver climate finance in support of community-prioritised investments in public goods that build local resilience to climate change.