Green Climate Fund lacks contributions as deadline passes

(Image: Informal ministerial on "Climate FInance and the Road through Paris" during World Bank/IMF Spring Meeting, April 17, 2015. Photo credit: Adam Ryder/World Bank on Flickr)

The deadline for government contributions to the Green Climate Fund expired on Thursday (April 30) after having received only 42.5% of the amount pledged at the High‐Level Pledging Conference in Berlin in November 2014. Countries including the United States, Japan, Canada, and Australia have not yet delivered funds, causing commitments to fall several hundred million dollars short of the USD 4.7 billion target. As the Fund is only authorized to allocate resources once at least 50% of the USD 9.35 billion pledged at the November 2014 conference has been made available, plans to back green energy projects in developing countries must be put on hold ahead of this year’s UNFCCCC meeting in Paris until more money comes in.

Héla Cheikhrouhou, executive director of the Green Climate Fund, is trying to bring in these missing funds. “We now call upon all other governments to urgently finalize their agreements to ensure the Fund can start allocating its resources as planned”, Cheikhrouhou said in the official statement.

In the case of the US, contribution to the Fund is facing stiff opposition from Republicans in Congress. However, noted Cheikhrouhou, “We are nearly 47-48% signed and I think donor countries are aware and willing to support each other to get to 50% if the US pledge is delayed.”

The Green Climate Fund is the designated financial mechanism of the UNFCCC. It plays a central role in mobilizing the financial resources necessary to make a shift towards low-emission and climate resilient pathways in developing countries, with the ultimate goal of keeping global temperature rise below 2° Celsius. According to Cheikhrouhou, the Fund will likely be an “essential ingredient” in any Paris deal. To date USD 10.2 billion dollars have been pledged and USD 4 billion has been received as signed contributions.

(Image: Informal ministerial on “Climate FInance and the Road through Paris” during World Bank/IMF Spring Meeting, April 17, 2015. Photo credit: Adam Ryder/World Bank on Flickr)