Today, at the international climate conference in Lima, Peru (COP20), the government of Belgium pledged to contribute more than 50 million Euros (around $62 million US) to the Green Climate Fund, edging the fund past its $10 billion goal for 2014. This is an important marker in making the Green Climate Fund operational.
Following is a statement by Athena Ballesteros, Finance Director, World Resources Institute:
The Green Climate Fund, launched in 2014, offers an ambitious platform for contributions and investments in climate mitigation and adaptation in the developing world. WRI helped shape the Fund's structure, ensuring that ambition and rigor were built in so the Fund can deliver value and secure and distribute money to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Helping the world’s developing countries cope with a changing climate is a key challenge of the 21st century. To meet this challenge, it is essential to find the most effective way to raise funds and invest in projects that curb emissions and build resilience to the climate impacts that are already unavoidable. But the question of how to get the money to a wide range of countries most effectively has not been fully addressed, even as the need becomes more urgent.
The Green Climate Fund, shepherded by WRI from its inception in 2011 through its launch in 2014, offers an ambitious platform for contributions and investments in climate mitigation and adaptation in the developing world. Unlike previous major multilateral climate funds, the Green Climate Fund has a broad base of contributors among both developed and developing countries. Its 24 board members are balanced between developed and developing countries, and its administration is lean. The Fund is designed to work through partners, including national institutions like national development banks and international institutions like the World Bank. Private sector involvement is central to the Fund, which has the flexibility to use innovative financial instruments to encourage private companies to help tackle climate change, and to stretch the Fund’s resources.
WRI’s engagement helped get the Fund up and running in May 2014, ready for funding pledges well before the Lima climate negotiations in December. WRI helped ensure that ambition and rigor were built in, so the Fund can deliver value for money to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
As pledges of support flow in, the Fund’s investment framework lets it set priorities about how money can be invested for maximum impact. The Fund’s structure, shaped by WRI, enables it to extend its reach through a wide array of partners, balanced between national and international institutions, while ensuring that all partners meet high fiduciary, environmental and social standards as they move forward.
WASHINGTON— On November 20, 2014, countries held a pledging conference of the Green Climate Fund in Berlin – where countries announced their financial commitments to the Fund. These funds will be used to support vulnerable countries to respond to the mounting risks of climate change, and to reduce emissions that cause climate change.
Recently the world took two giant steps toward reaching a global agreement to fight climate change in 2015: a landmark U.S.-China accord and a $4.5 billion pledge to the Green Climate Fund by the United States and Japan.
Call it bad timing: Brazil’s greenhouse gas emissions intensity is rising while that of most of the G20 countries decreases, just as more infrastructure investment will be needed to support expected economic growth and social inclusion. Representatives of commercial banks in Brazil, the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Brazil’s Ministry of Finance and others joined WRI experts to explore how they can collectively help the country make the transition to a low-carbon economy.
The UN Climate Summit will draw 125 heads of state and government to address the global challenge of climate change, the biggest gathering of its kind ever. Building on the excitement of the massive People’s Climate March on September 21, we should expect some movement on the key question of how to finance climate solutions.