Close to $ 9.4 billion in pledges to the Green Climate Fund
By Luis Fierro, Climate Finance Adviser for AILAC (*)
On November 20 in Berlin, 22 countries pledged US$ 9.4 billion to the initial capitalization of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), almost reaching the goal of $ 10 billion that had been established by the UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, and the Executive Director of the GCF, Héla Cheikhrouhou.
Regarding the absolute amount, noteworthy contributions were from the United States ($ 3 billion), Japan ($ 1.5 billion), United Kingdom (720 million pounds, about $ 1,130 million at current exchange rates), France ($ 1 billion) and Germany (750 million euros, about $ 938 million at current exchange rates).
In terms of per capita contributions, the most generous were the Scandinavian countries, including Sweden ($ 61), Norway ($ 26), Finland ($ 18) and Denmark ($ 13) (see http://goo.gl/ZlAFH1 ).
It is also worth highlighting the contributions announced by four developing countries: South Korea ($ 100 million), Mexico ($ 10 million), Panama ($ 1 million) and Mongolia ($ 50,000). Of these four, the first two are members of the OECD, but not part of the “Annex II” of countries that have traditionally contributed to international climate finance. Panama is a member of the Independent Association of Latin American and Caribbean (AILAC), a negotiating group on climate change. Another member of AILAC, Colombia, has confirmed its intention to make a contribution.
Previously, Indonesia had also announcing a contribution of $ 250,000 for administrative expenses of the Fund.
The BRICS countries, although they had announced the initial capitalization of their “New Development Bank” at $ 50 billion, they have not yet announced contributions to the GCF. Nor have some developed countries that have traditionally contributed to global climate finance, such as Australia, Austria, Belgium, Ireland and other EU Member States. Poland announced it will contribute, but without indicating the specific amount.
For its part, the Board of the GCF had progressed in fulfilling the requirements for the operationalization of the Fund, with an important meeting in Barbados held in October, where, among other things, issues of governance, defined contribution policy, and operational planning were considered (http://www.gcfund.org/meetings.html ).
(*) The views expressed in this article are the author’s and do not compromise the AILAC Group or any of the countries that are part of the group.