Obama's budget plan to deliver US$500 million to the Green Climate Fund

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3 February 2015

LONDON: US President Barack Obama’s 2016 budget plan includes US$500 million for the Green Climate Fund (GCF), as a first instalment of the total US$3 billion he pledged last year.

The GCF was founded in 2010 as a fund within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). It aims to support developing countries in tackling climate change.

Over time it is expected to become the main financial system to support climate action on an international level. It plays a big role in the effort from developed countries to raise climate finance of US$100 billion by 2020.

Last year the GCF announced constant raises in its total funding, and one of the key points during the climate talks in Lima last December was the importance of financial support for developing countries.

During the UN Climate Summit in New York last September, political leaders set a US$10 billion target by the end of the year. The target was reached during COP20 in Lima, with the GCF hitting US$10.2 billion as Columbia, Peru and Austria were the last countries to pledge new contributions.

Crucial role in Paris

In a recent statement, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon emphasized the importance of the Fund in building trust and confidence among developed and developing countries. He also stressed the necessity of putting the funds to work mitigating emissions and building resilience around the world as soon as possible.

The GCF is going to play a crucial role in the upcoming climate talks in Paris, in securing the financial position of developing countries. Cutting greenhouse gas emissions and imposing new challenges to their economies to meet global targets will require strong financial support from developed countries.

President Obama’s administration is one of the first to include their pledges in their financial budget plans for the coming years. And the US may not be the only country which plans to deliver investment in instalments over several years.   

Evan Juska, Head of US Policy for The Climate Group said: “Climate finance has been one of the most important and divisive issues in the UNFCCC to date, and contributing to the Green Climate Fund is central to the US’ credibility in the negotiations.

“But with a Republican Congress focused on reducing the deficit and investing at home, President Obama is going to have to fight hard to make sure support for the Fund survives to the final budget.”

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by Denise Puca

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