UN pledges $1bn investment to drive climate action in developing nations
Members of the UN’s Green Climate Fund (GCF) have this week approved more than $1bn of funding for 19 projects supporting climate action in developing countries.
The funding, which was announced on Sunday (21 October) and has been pledged by signatories to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), will be spent on both climate mitigation measures and low-carbon technologies.
Initiatives to receive backing from the funding include a renewable energy project in Tonga, a scheme to boost food security in the Kyrgyz Republic and water stewardship measures in Bahrain. Other projects address electricity access, green finance measures and energy efficiency in developing countries across the world.
In total, the GFC has pledged to invest $1.04bn into the projects – a move it claims will mobilise $4.2bn of co-financing capital.
“Climate finance and climate project formulation are the two greatest bottlenecks to climate action in the developing countries,” GCF co-chair Paul Oquist said. “GCF has a critical role to play in both."
The launch of the funding means that GCF, which was founded in 2010 as part of the UNFCCC’s financial mechanism, now has a portfolio of 93 low-carbon projects holding $4.6bn of investment collectively. 42 of these projects were approved in 2018, with GCF estimating that it has mobilised more than $8bn in climate-related investments since the start of the year.
The road to COP24
The launch of the new funding comes after members of the GCF attended a four-day meeting in Bahrain, a prelude to the UN’s annual climate talks in Poland in December.
The COP24 discussions in Katowice will see delegates meet to finalise a ‘rulebook’ for implementing the Paris Agreement, which has been signed by 195 nations since its launch in 2015.
Developed nations have previously said they wanted the meeting to provide clarity on precisely how much climate funding they are committing to, where it will be spent and how their funding levels will be adjusted to support progressive emissions reductions.
Developing nations, meanwhile, have called for the meeting to confirm that richer nations will provide “predictable and sustainable” financial support to nations which are just beginning their respective low-carbon transitions.
Climate mitigation costs
The announcement from the GCF comes shortly after a report from Global Infrastructure Hub revealed that infrastructure investments totalling £470bn are needed across 10 African countries in order to enable national commitments to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Similarly, a recent report from the Centre for Climate Finance and Investment at Imperial College Business School and SOAS University of London concluded that up to £127bn of funding may be required for developing countries to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
It is estimated that around $12trn of investment is needed into renewable power generation over the next 25 years to achieve the climate goals laid out in the Paris Agreement.