European countries must step up support for Green Climate Fund

(EurActiv, 25 Sep 2019) The commitments made by several European countries to the replenishment of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) are only a modest first step. More countries now need to come forward ahead of the upcoming GCF pledging conference in October, writes Rachel Simon.

Rachel Simon is climate and development policy coordinator at Climate Action Network Europe, an environmental NGO.

At the UN Secretary General Climate Action Summit yesterday (24 September), a number of European governments put forward a range of new pledges for the replenishment of the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

However, with the exception of Sweden and Denmark, their contributions were only a modest first step and did not live up to their obligations to help developing countries tackle the climate crisis. Now more countries need to come forward ahead of the upcoming GCF pledging conference in October, in France – and others must top their pledges up.

Climate breakdown is already having major impacts on people’s lives, particularly those least responsible for its escalation in developing countries. It compromises sustainable development, perpetuates poverty, limits access to food and water and increases migration. Those on the frontline sorely lack the help they need to adapt. They also need help to avoid the mistakes we made – relying on dirty fossil fuels – and are now suffering the consequences of.

To help the poorest countries scale up their climate targets and cope with the climate crisis, European countries must at least double their contributions to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The fund was established in 2010 under the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change with the intention to help developing countries reduce greenhouse gas emissions, prepare for the unavoidable impacts of a changing climate, and develop in a sustainable way.

The GCF is unique amongst climate funds in having a board governed by an equal number of developing and developed countries, balance between adaptation and mitigation funding, and it’s the first climate fund to mainstream gender considerations in its operations and projects. 2019 is a crucial year for the GCF, with a pledging conference for its first replenishment being held on 24-25 October in France, ahead of the UN Climate Summit COP25 in December.

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EurActiv, 25 Sep 2019: European countries must step up support for Green Climate Fund