Mobilising Climate Finance: the role of COP20

The commitments made by Australia, Belgium, Austria, Colombia, and Peru at the High‐level Ministerial Session on Climate Finance, that was held at COP20 in Lima, brought total pledges of contributions to the Green Climate Fund to approximately US$ 10.2 billion equivalent. These pledges allowed to reach the USD 10 billion threshold by the end of 2014 and this can be considered a landmark achievement.

The Green Climate Fund continues to call on countries that are able and willing to come forward and invest in the Fund. In line with the principle of common but differentiated responsibility, the Conference of the Parties recognized that developed country Parties commit to a goal of mobilizing jointly USD 100 billion per year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries. The funding mobilized through Green Climate Fund will in turn catalyze a significant multiplier effect, including through its Private Sector Facility, a unique feature of the Fund.

Nevertheless, the debate around the Green Climate Fund, of which 50% is to be allocated to adaptation measures and the other 50% to mitigation actions to support the transition to a low-carbon economy , has been mainly focused on quantitative and distributional issues rather than on quality and efficiency issues of the use of funding.

One positive note is that COP20 agenda gave prominence to adaptation and some important pledges have been made, such as that by Germany announcing 50 million Euros (USD 62 million) for the Adaptation Fund and 55 million Euros (USD68 million) for initiatives to combat deforestation.

The emphasis has been on the need for transparency and predictability of financial flows, and the widespread recognition that further scaling up of climate finance will be a necessary component of global efforts to limit increases in global average temperature to 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and to support adaptation to climate change in vulnerable countries.