UK offers $1.1 billion to Green Climate Fund

London’s commitment more than France and Germany despite strong domestic opposition

(Pic: DECC/Flickr)

(Pic: DECC/Flickr)

By Ed King

The UK has become the latest country to support the UN-backed Green Fund, announcing it will contribute “up to” £720m ($1.1 billion) to help developing countries cope with climate change.

The commitment is the third largest to the GCF so far, lower than the US and Japan but more than Germany and France.

The UK’s pledge means the fund now has $8.5 billion pledged, just short of its 2014 target of $10 billion.

More countries are expected to offer their support at a GCF meeting in Berlin taking place today.

“There is a huge amount at stake,” UK secretary of state for energy and climate change Ed Davey told the Guardian.

“Anyone who has followed the UN negotiations knows the poorest and most vulnerable countries on the planet are looking to developed countries to help them survive climate change. If we do not do this, I don’t think we will get a global deal. It is as simple as that.”

Earlier this week a German official told RTCC he did not think the UK would make a commitment this week, due to a by-election taking place in Rochester, where the Conservatives are facing down climate and euro sceptic party UKIP.

But Davey dismissed calls for the government to scale back its support for multilateral climate efforts, saying he was determined to make the case for tougher action to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

“A little Englander approach, an isolationist approach, is going to be a disaster for the people of Britain. Climate change does not recognise borders.”

The $1.1bn comes from the UK’s International Climate Fund, which has around $6 billion allocated between 2011-2015.

Aside from current pledges, officials at today’s meeting in Berlin are hopeful there will be further contributions from Austria, Norway, Finland, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland.

Read more on: Climate finance | Green Climate Fund | UN climate talks | |