COP 28 surpassed Green Climate Fund

Amalendu Upadhyaya
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COP 28 in Dubai this year has surpassed the pledges of the Green Climate Fund: $12.8 billion pledged the Adaptation Fund has received a $1.3 billion launch of the loss & damage fund, with up to $655 million pledged.
Dr. Seema Javed. The writer is an Environmentalist & A communications professional in the field of Science, climate and energy.

By Dr. Seema Javed

The Green Climate Fund is the world’s largest multilateral fund dedicated to helping developing countries address the climate crisis. Created in 2010, the Fund had its initial resource mobilization (IRM) in 2014 receiving $10.3 billion in pledges from 45 countries. The GCF underwent its first replenishment (GCF-1) in 2019, garnering a further $10 billion in pledges from 32 countries.

At COP 28 in Dubai this year has surpassed the previous ones and it now stands at $12.8 billion pledged for the entire second replenishment. Along with the with the launch of the loss & damage fund, with up to $655 million pledged so far, is a welcome step forward. The loss & damage fund in addition to pledges from governments, is also able to accept funding from private entities and innovative sources, so it is possible some philanthropic foundations may announce contributions.

At COP28 in Dubai, rich countries are under pressure to rebuild trust with developing countries after the failure to deliver the $100 billion per year goal on time and recent data showing they are off track to doubling adaptation finance from 2019 levels by 2025. The only way they can do this is to announce pledges to UN climate funds.

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) received a boost to its second replenishment (GCF-2) with the announcement of five new pledges. Estonia, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland and the United States of America pledged new funding at the opening High-level Segment of world leaders at COP28.Total pledges now stand at a record USD 12.8 billion from 30 countries with further contributions expected.

The amount pledged so far in this funding cycle exceeds USD 10 billion for the first replenishment period (GCF-1). This new funding will enable GCF to channel new, predictable financial resources to developing countries over the next four-year programming cycle (2024-2027) to tackle the impacts of climate change and protect the most vulnerable communities.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has made a record EUR 2 billion pledge to the Green Climate Fund which is the largest single contribution to GCF in the Fund’s history.

Table comparing the top 18 countries' highest previous pledge to the Green Climate Fund compared to their pledge to the second replenishment.

Debates about funding are always a major feature of UN climate negotiations. The big injustice of the climate crisis is that the poorest and most vulnerable communities, who have done the least to cause the problem, are hit first and worst by the impacts.To help address this, governments meeting as the Conference of the Parties (COPs) to the UN climate convention have created several multilateral funds that pool contributions from many contributors and provide dedicated support to help developing countries reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address the impacts of climate change.

Developed countries are stating that they have likely met the $100bn goal in 2022 so there is no failure to deliver the climate finance commitment of $100 billion per year by 2020. However, developing countries are questioning the lack of data behind it.

Going into COP28, the Adaptation Fund has received $1.3 billion in cumulative contributions from 26 countries. It also receives funding from innovative sources: 2% of the proceeds from carbon trading under the Kyoto Protocol are channeled to the Fund, which has raised an additional $215 million.

Like the Adaptation Fund, the Least Developed Countries Fund was also created in 2001 and has a similarly intuitive name: it provides support for adaptation solely for Least Developed Countries, the 46 poorest countries in the world. It is operated by the Global Environment Facility.

History of Special Climate Change Fund

The Special Climate Change Fund rounds out the class of funds created in 2001. It has four financing windows: A) adaptation to climate change; B) technology transfer; C) mitigation in selected sectors including energy, transport, industry, agriculture, forestry, and waste management; and D) economic diversification of fossil-fuel-dependent countries. SCCF-C and SCCF-D have received no contributions. Like the LDCF, it is operated by the Global Environment Facility.

As of now world needs $1 trillion per year in external finance by 2030 for emerging markets and developing countries (EMDCs) other than China. Fifty-four developing economies accounting for more than half of the world’s poorest people need urgent debt relief as a result of cascading global crises. The risks of inaction are dire - if these countries do not get access to effective debt restructuring, poverty will rise and desperately needed investments in climate adaptation and mitigation will not happen - particularly since countries affected are among the most climate-vulnerable in the world, according to a new paper - "Too Little Too Late", published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The UAE making a pledge to the loss & damage fund and the GCF put them in the spotlight as a non-traditional contributor, but other richer developing countries, especially those with vast oil & gas profits, have not moved.

(The writer is an Environmentalist & A communications professional in the field of Science, climate and energy.)

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