DEVELOPED NATIONS PLEDGE MORE INVESTMENTS TO TACKLE CLIMATE CHANGE

Written by Chu Yao Quan

What happened?

27 countries recently pledged a total of US$9.8 billion to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The GCF was established back in 2010 during the Cancun Agreements to help developing countries reduce their emissions and cope with the impacts of climate change. This round of funding came after the fund announced that it has nearly exhausted some US$7 billion received following an initial funding round back in 2014.

However, countries such as the US and Australia have been criticized for failing to contribute to the fund. The US initially pledged US$3 billion in installments towards the fund during the Obama administration. US President Donald Trump has announced after taking office, of the US’ withdrawal from participating in the GCF and the remaining installments totalling US$2 billion, calling the GCF a scheme that “transfers of American wealth to foreign nations that are responsible for most of the world’s pollution”. Australia, which had already contributed some US$200 million to the fund, has refused to allocate additional funds for the GCF, with PM Scott Morrison saying that Australia can meet its pledge for climate change under the 2015 Paris Agreement, without needing to spend more cash.

 

Criticism about the fund

Despite the fund being set up many years ago, many of the approved early-backed projects were questioned about their viability, especially those that are involved in the private sector. Some of the projects, such as a Luxembourg-based investment fund that proposed to finance renewable energy or energy efficiency projects in about 30 countries, had no explicit plan that discloses what those projects would be.

Critics also disagree over the distribution channels of the fund, arguing that more climate aid funds should go directly to governments in the developing world, or the communities at risk, instead of it being channeled through large development banks or private-sector enterprises led by global investment firms.

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