Largest climate fund seeks cash for developing nationsThu, 05 Oct 2023 09:03:03 GMT

The world’s largest climate fund was seeking fresh cash at a donor conference on Thursday, with all eyes on what the United States will provide for vulnerable nations impacted by climate change.  The Green Climate Fund (GCF) was set up as part of the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement to funnel grants and loans to developing countries for adaptation and mitigation projects in a warming world. The fund plays a part in the promise by rich countries to supply $100 billion of climate finance to poorer nations every year, which has already missed an initial 2020 deadline. Financing is one of the most contentious topics in international climate diplomacy as the world scrambles to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Developing countries least responsible for climate change are seeking support from richer polluting nations to adapt to the increasingly ferocious and expensive consequences of extreme weather, and for their transitions to cleaner energy. The issue will play a major role in crunch UN talks, COP28, beginning in Dubai on November 30. – ‘Matter of justice’ -“We will only meet our climate goals if there is substantive, significant, consistent support to developing countries,” GCF executive director Mafalda Duarte told delegates as the conference began in the German city of Bonn. “We either succeed together or fail together… It is a matter of justice.” The GCF says Thursday’s conference will allow it to invest more through a decade it sees as critical for climate action. Its current portfolio of projects is mostly dedicated to Africa, the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America and the Caribbean. Rolling out solar panels in Pakistan and making Philippine agriculture more resilient in the face of unpredictable weather are among projects that have been approved. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz hailed the GCF as “an important point for many of the most vulnerable countries”. “Let’s make 2023 a turning point for climate action,” he said in a video address.The GCF has laid out a “50by30″ vision to manage $50 billion by 2030 — almost triple its current capital of $17 billion. It aims to focus efforts in developing countries between next year and 2027. This year, Britain and Germany pledged billions of dollars to the GCF, while France followed suit last month with a commitment of 1.61 billion euros (around $1.7 billion).Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Iceland, Luxembourg, Monaco, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea and Spain have also made commitments. But a huge gap remains to be plugged, with the United States yet to announce how much — if anything — it will offer. It pledged around $3 billion for the fund’s first resource mobilisation in 2014 under former president Barack Obama, but his successor Donald Trump gave nothing five years later. – ‘Fractured landscape’ -The GCF currently has more than 100 implementing partners and various financial instruments. A first tranche of replenishment funds worth $10 billion was pledged for the 2020-2023 period.According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), developed countries helped to supply $83.3 billion in climate finance in 2020.But experts say the real needs in developing countries are much higher.The UN’s Independent High-Level Expert Group on Climate Finance last year estimated developing nations would need more than $2 trillion a year by 2030 to fund climate resilience and development priorities.”The GCF has a critical role to play but to date has struggled to define its function and comparative advantage within a fractured climate financing landscape,” said the Lowy Institute, an Australian international policy think tank.