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Green Climate Fund

As of this Monday, 174 countries had submitted their national climate plans to the UN, in preparation for the Paris climate summit that begins next week. These “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” (INDCs) show countries are stepping up to take collective action to address climate change. Governments have set out a variety of different approaches, including specifying absolute emissions-reduction targets, setting economy-wide emissions intensity goals, outlining efforts to adapt to the impacts of climate change, and detailing specific actions they plan to take in a range of...

Last week, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board met for its last meeting before the upcoming climate talks in Paris. Countries created the GCF to be the main global fund for climate finance, and as such, it could play a vital role in delivering the goals of an agreement in Paris. If the GCF is to be a key player in the future climate regime, it needs to show that it can effectively spend money. Is it up to the task?

We’re now halfway towards the 2020 deadline – set in 2009 – for developed countries to mobilize $100 billion a year in climate finance. It’s essential to show that developed countries are keeping their commitments so developing countries know they have support for ambitious action when countries meet to forge a new global climate agreement in Paris this December. So with five years to go, how close are we to $100 billion a year? And how could we get there?

France and the UK announced increases in the amount of climate finance they will be providing in the coming years. France committed to increase its climate finance by €2 billion a year (around US$2.25 billion) to deliver a total of €5 billion a year by 2020, and the UK announced it will provide £5.8 billion (around US$8.8 billion) from its foreign aid budget for climate finance between 2016 and 2021. The announcements came during the summit launching the Sustainable Development Goals and heads of state meeting at the UN General Assembly.

The Green Climate Fund (GCF), expected to become the main vehicle for securing and distributing finance, moved one step closer to disbursing funds this week. Its resources will support a range of activities that reduce emissions or foster resilience—such as installing renewable energy, helping farmers grow drought-resistant crops and reducing deforestation.

Today, President Obama released his 2016 Budget Request outlining the administration’s spending plans for the coming fiscal year. The request includes $500 million in funding for the Green Climate Fund, and $230 million for the Climate Investment Funds. The budget allocation to the Green Climate Fund is part of the $3 billion pledge the U.S. made in November 2014, while $230 million requested for the Climate Investment Funds would complete a commitment made under the Bush Administration in 2008.

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:


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