Countries attending the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), better known as COP24, have made several new climate finance commitments, increasing existing commitments to both the World Bank Group’s Adaptation Fund and the Green Climate Fund.
Amidst controversy and confusion, COP24 nevertheless brought together those countries willing to contribute to acting to prevent and mitigate climate change around the world.
On Tuesday, the World Bank Group’s Adaptation Fund was the beneficiary of new funding commitments from several existing contributor governments worth approximately $129 million. Announced at the Fund’s Contributor Dialogue on Tuesday at COP24, the Adaptation Fund received new commitments from nine contributor governments — including two first-time contributors — surpassing the previous single-year record of pledges of $95.9 million set in 2017.
Specifically, Germany announced a commitment of €70 million ($79.5 million), France a commitment of €15 million ($17 million), Italy €7 million ($8 million), Sweden SEK 50 million ($5.5 million), the Walloon Region of Belgium €4 million ($4.5 million), the Brussels-Capital Region of Belgium €465,000 ($528,000), and Ireland €300,000 ($341,000). First-time contributors included the European Commission which committed €10 million ($11.3 million), and New Zealand which provided NZ$3 million ($2 million).
Germany’s contribution was the single largest donation ever made to the Fund. “We believe in the quality and work that the Fund has done,” said Dr. Karsten Sach of Germany’s Federal Ministry. While Sweden continued its commitment to funding the Adaptation Fund. “Recent extreme weather events around the globe have once again reminded us that climate change is not something in a distant future – it is here and now,” said H.E. Ms. Karolina Skog, Minister for the Environment, Ministry of Environment and Energy, Sweden. “The issue of adaptation is high on our agenda. We hope that our pledge of support sends a clear signal that Sweden stands in solidarity with people and countries particularly affected by climate change. We hope that this pledge will contribute to a positive momentum.”
Committing funding for the first time, the European Union pledged €10 million for 2019 in addition to commitments made by EU Member States. “Europe is stepping up support to help developing countries build resilience and adapt to the impacts of climate change,” said EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete. “We welcome the work carried out by the Adaptation Fund, notably to address the adaptation needs of those most vulnerable, and encourage the Fund to continue its work for scaling-up of financial resources.”
In addition to new commitments for the Adaptation Fund, governments from developing and developed nations also made the replenishment of the Green Climate Fund a top priority, highlighting the importance of the Fund at the “Successful Start, Ambitious Future” official Side Event held on Wednesday in Katowice. Among the announcements were those made by Germany and Norway, both of which will double their commitment to the Fund. Ireland also indicated that it will commit additional funding to the Fund by the end of 2018.
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