US Green Climate Fund pledge adds momentum to international talks - Oxfam

By Oxfam

US offers $3 billion over 4 years to Green Climate Fund ahead of Lima climate summit

Washington, DC – International relief and development organization Oxfam praised President Barack Obama’s announcement of a $3 billion pledge to the Green Climate Fund and urged more ambition from other major developed countries yet to pledge. The commitment was announced just days before a pledging conference to get the Fund up and running with a strong base of financial support is set to convene in Berlin, Germany on November 19th and 20th.  The US pledge comes after commitments totaling approximately $3 billion from several developed countries were made earlier in the year.

Oxfam and developing country leaders called on the US to pledge its “fair share” of a $10-15 billion initial capitalization of the Fund before the next round of UN climate negotiations in Lima, Peru. Oxfam has estimated the US fair share would total approximately $3.2 billion, which is comparable to the percentage that the US provides to funds like the Global Fund for Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria. While the pledge announced by President Obama falls just shy of this number and should be strengthened over time, it is an important signal of support.

“The Obama administration deserves praise for putting real resources on the table to help the poorest people in the world protect themselves from the dangerous and deadly effects of climate change,” said Raymond C. Offenheiser, President of Oxfam America. “Today’s pledge supports American interests and represents a low bar for what the US should responsibly invest. Every dollar we invest in preparedness today can save up to seven dollars in future costs.”

The Green Climate Fund was conceived during the Copenhagen climate change negotiations in 2009 and is intended to be the world’s premier multilateral institution aimed at helping developing countries reduce greenhouse gas emissions, prepare for the unavoidable impacts of a changing climate and develop sustainably. Developed countries promised in Copenhagen to help mobilize $100 billion per year in climate finance by 2020, a large portion of which is expected to be chanelled through the Green Climate Fund.

Delivering on the $100 billion commitment is a lynchpin of the international talks. Negotiators in Lima will seek to make progress on several critical areas related to climate finance including how and when national pledges will be put on the table in the future, and how those pledges will be assessed for their adequacy.

“I have seen first-hand the devastation climate change is already wreaking on communities here in America and around the world,” said Offenheiser. “Whether it is a farmer facing drought in Ethiopia, or a small business owner in New Jersey struggling to recover from Hurricane Sandy, the rising costs of increasingly erratic weather are clear for all of us. It is critical that the US plays a leadership role to ensure the world tackles these challenges together.”

As country representatives gather at the pledging conference in Berlin, eyes will now turn to other developed nations yet to pledge to make sure the Fund reaches the $10-15 billion initial mark. Countries that have yet to pledge include Japan, the UK, Australia, Austria, Canada , Norway, Spain, and Italy.

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Notes to editors:

Existing pledges to the Green Climate Fund:

Country

Promise

USD equivalent (USD millions)

Czech Republic

$5.5 m USD

$5.5

Denmark

$70 m USD

$70

France

$ 1 bn USD

$1000

Germany

Up to 750 m EUR

$963.4

Indonesia

$250,000

$0.25

Luxembourg

5 m EUR

$6.4

Mexico

$10 m USD

$10

Netherlands

100 m EUR

$128

Norway

$33 m USD

$33

South Korea

$100 m USD

$100

Sweden

4 bn SEK

$588

Switzerland

$100 m USD

$100

United States

$3 bn USD

$3000

Total

 

$6005

 

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