A global total of $9.3billion (£5.9billion) had been pledged by the end of the first international pledging conference in Berlin, Germany, on 20 November, 2014, with a further $0.3billion pledged by Canada in the days after the conference closed. Thirty nations came together to offer their allocations to the Green Climate Fund, established to help developing countries cut their greenhouse emissions and deal with the effects of climate change.
Governments that have not yet contributed are encouraged to continue pledging, until the target of $10–15billion is met. The UK has pledged $1.13billion (£720million), compared to $1billion from Germany and France. Ed Davey, the Lib Dem energy and climate change secretary said that extra would only be paid if other countries contribute more. Australia does not intend to contribute (see below).
‘The Green Climate Fund is the epicentre that determines the direction of both public and private investment over the next decades,’ said Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), describing the capitalisation of the Fund as one of the wisest investments in the 21st century.
The next stage of proceedings will take place in Lima, Peru, from 1–12 December. The Green Climate Fund will be re-addressed and further pledges are expected. The conference will draft a global climatic agreement, which will be finalised at the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, France.
The long term goal for the Fund is to raise up to $100billion per year by 2020, as set out by the 2009 Copenhagen climate summit.
Update to 17 November, 2014 report after G20 conference in Brisbane, Australia. Original story below.
Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, expressed his reluctance at the G20 summit to make a pledge to the Green Climate Fund, the UN project to raise capital to help less economically developed countries face future repercussions from climate change.
Hosted by Mr Abbott, the G20 summit agenda included discussions on boosting global economy and closing tax loopholes for multinational companies. While Mr Abbott did not include climate change on the official proceedings, it was addressed as a sideline issue. Several countries stepped forward to disclose their aid contributions for the Green Climate Fund and Australia’s stance has continued to divide opinion.
US President Barack Obama said in a press release: ‘Along with the other nations that have pledged support, this gives us the opportunity to help vulnerable communities with an early warning system, with stronger defences against storm surge, climate resilient infrastructure, to help farmers plant more durable crops.’
He continued that the Fund ‘allows us to help developing countries to break out of the false choice between development and pollution’ and that it will help ‘leap‐frog some of the dirty industries that powered our development, go straight to a clean energy economy that allows them to grow, create jobs, and at the same time reduce their carbon pollution.’
Mr Abbott told the Guardian Australia newspaper: ‘One thing the current government will never do is say one thing at home and a different thing abroad. We are committed to dismantling the Bob Brown bank [the Clean Energy Finance Corporation] at home so it would be impossible for us to support a Bob Brown bank on an international scale.’
Mr Abbott has become well-known for his scepticism toward renewable energy and inaction on climate change, having recently caused outrage by clearing a portion of the Great Barrier Reef to make way for ships carrying oil.