Japan delivers $1.5 billion to allow funds for clean energy projects in developing world to start flowing ahead of Paris summit
By Ed King
The UN’s flagship green fund says it’s now open for business after Japan delivered US$1.5 billion of promised support for clean energy and climate adaptation projects.
Tokyo’s contribution means the GCF now has more than half of the cash promised to it by donors that include the US, UK, Germany, France and Mexico, a threshold it needed to hit to start work.
Data published by the GCF reveals the US is overdue on a $1.5 billion payment, while Canada owes $130 million.
“The Green Climate Fund commends the Government of Japan for the timely conversion of its pledge to a contribution arrangement with the Fund at such a crucial point in the negotiations ahead of COP 21,” said Héla Cheikhrouhou, GCF executive director.
“This … means the Fund has reached an important milestone and can now start making financial commitments to developing countries.”
Officials said the fund will now finalise an initial set of projects aimed at helping developing countries develop better clean energy systems and prepare for future climate impacts.
In a statement they said today’s news would send a “strong signal to global financial markets” that the GCF was open for business.
Its success is seen as key to global efforts to finalise a UN climate deal, due to be signed off by over 190 countries in Paris this December.
In 2009 rich countries said they would drive $100 billion of green investment to the developing world by 2020, but flows have so far been far lower than expected.
Earlier this week India’s environment minister Prakash Javadekar questioned why the GCF was still looking for more assurances over funding.
“On the sources of fund – of course, it can be from a variety of sources, but the goal agreed to was USD 100 billion per year by 2020. The fact of the matter is that we are nowhere near it,” he told a meeting of ministers in Germany.
Cheikhrouhou said the GCF was still looking for future pledges of support – above and beyond the $10 billion offered at the end of 2014.
“Governments that have not yet pledged to the Fund are encouraged to step forward,” she said.
“All other governments that have not yet signed their agreement with the Fund should do so urgently, she added.”