Green Climate Fund Lacks Sufficient Financing

Green climate fund pledges have raised concerns among lobbying organizations due to the failure to achieve the anticipated funding levels necessary to assist vulnerable communities in developing countries in building resilience against climate impacts.

At the Green Climate Fund Pledging Summit in Bonn, wealthy nations did not fulfill their commitments, with pledges totaling only approximately 9.3 billion USD, which is significantly below expectations.

The Green Climate Fund is the largest multilateral climate fund, and the largest fund supporting adaptation.

The last replenishment period (2020 – 2023) raised $12.6 billion. Pledges made by 25 countries at the conference amounted to $9.322 billion, with 75% of countries increasing their pledges, enabling the Fund to reach its minimum 25% effectiveness threshold. This allows the fund to continue its work for a further four years.

The pledging conference even though promising still left gaps in the expected climate funding needed by the world. Slow adoption of funding for the GCF is a significant indication of more talks without any actions put in place as governments turned up for UN Climate talks without necessarily enacting scaled-up finance measures.

The Green Climate Fund convention offered an opportunity for countries to raise their commitments on finance especially as it precedes the COP28. On the contrary, some polluting nations globally exhibited reluctance as members like Australia, Switzerland, Italy, and Sweden claimed to make pledges later while the USA failed to pledge and offered nothing.

This occurrence at the convention has aroused mixed reactions since the United States is participating on the GCF Board in shaping policies without meeting its financial obligations which has turned out quite inexcusable.

Countries such as Japan and Norway experienced stagnation in the overall process, while Sweden sparked further debate on the necessity for developing nations to contribute to the Fund. Nevertheless, Ireland’s impressive 150% increase in pledges received praise amidst the conflicting issues that arose during the urgent funding discussions.

Stephen Cornelius, Global Deputy Lead for Climate and Energy at WWF International, emphasized the need for wealthy nations to consider the issue of financing as we approach COP28. He highlighted that global warming continues to escalate, with September being approximately 1.75°C warmer than pre-industrial levels. This further underscores the urgency for immediate climate action.

Public financing has been cited as key to ensuring vulnerable nations receive the support they need, particularly for boosting adaptation efforts.

Evidenced by climate crises, the world’s vulnerable populations face an escalating climate crisis, with their path to a sustainable future undeservedly delayed.

As explained by Harjeet Singh, Head of Global Political Strategy, Climate Action Network International, the essentiality of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), is based on its envisioning as a lifeline for climate action in developing nations, that is however held back by the indifference of wealthy countries.

“With COP28 on the horizon, the GCF replenishment conference has fallen short of expectations. However, it’s important to remember that nations are not restricted to making pledges only during set intervals; they can and should step forward with contributions at any time to support climate action,” said Harjeet Singh.

According to Rachel Cleetus, Policy Director, Climate and Energy Program, Union of Concerned Scientists, the IPCC has made clear that solving the climate crisis requires much greater finance flows for mitigation and adaptation, yet the outcome of the GCF replenishment conference fell well short of what’s needed.

Rachel further stated that the United States, as the world’s wealthiest country and largest emitter of historical heat-trapping emissions must live up to its responsibilities, as more than 100 groups called for in a letter.

“Low- and middle-income countries reeling from devastating climate impacts and who need funding to make a rapid clean energy transition deserve better. There is still time ahead of COP28 and richer countries must step up,” said Rachel.  

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