Green Climate Fund meeting serves as harbinger of success for 2015 Paris climate summit
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Next week, Barbados — a small island, developing state threatened by climate-induced sea level rise — will host a critical board meeting of the United Nations Green Climate Fund. The results of this meeting are crucial to determine the legitimacy of 2015 global climate negotiations in Paris. An international climate agreement hinges not only on deep greenhouse gas emission reductions but also on the provision of funds for developing countries to meet their adaptation and mitigation needs.
As the premier channel of funds to help developing nations confront, mitigate and adapt to climate change, the GCF – most especially the financial commitments made to it by developed countries — serves as a bellwether for real political and economic will to address climate change. Developed countries have committed to provide $100 billion in climate finance to developing countries by 2020.
What: Meeting of the Board of the Green Climate Fund
When: October 14-17, 2014
Where: Bridgetown, Barbados
Who: Board members of the Green Climate Fund, including U.S. board member Leonardo Martinez-Diaz, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment and Energy at the U.S. Treasury. All eyes will be on Martinez, who represents the country with the largest economy and most historical responsibility for climate pollution, for an indication of the U.S. pledge. While countries such as France pledged $1 billion, the U.S. did not commit money for the GCF at the Climate Summit held by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York last month.
Why: Many developing countries carry negligible blame for the climate crisis. Yet they are the ones left footing a very expensive bill to deal with its fallout — a bill paid not only in money, but in lives lost and livelihoods destroyed. The GCF board meeting is the lift-off point for a series of crucial multilateral meetings and negotiations to effectively deliver the climate funds promised by developed countries. Following the GCF board meeting, a GCF “pledging session” will be held November 19-20 in Bonn, Germany, where countries like the United States are expected to announce their financial contributions to the GCF. A major UN climate summit will follow in Lima, Peru, December 1-12. The Lima summit will be the final Conference of Parties preceding the monumental climate summit in Paris in 2015, where the world expects a global climate agreement.
In addition to resource mobilization, GCF Board members in Barbados will be making important decisions on how the GCF will work; which sub-national, national, and international entities will receive GCF financing; and what the GCF will fund. Civil society organizations and global movements have demanded not only that governments pledge money for the GCF, but also that these funds be used for climate-friendly activities that benefit the people of developing countries, not multinational corporations or Wall Street firms. To accomplish this goal, the GCF must: explicitly exclude dirty energy — such as fossil fuels, carbon capture and storage and destructive dams — from GCF financing; ensure implementation of robust environmental and social safeguards; and, at minimum, guarantee that GCF-financed activities do no harm.
For more information: Contact Karen Orenstein, Senior international policy analyst, Friends of the Earth U.S., and accredited observer of the Green Climate Fund, at +1-202-640-8679 or [email protected].
Letter to the GCF board from 180 developing country-based organizations and international networks, endorsed by 60+ groups from developed countries, asking for an explicit policy to prevent the GCF from financing fossil fuels or other harmful energy projects or programs.
Letter to the GCF board from 133 developing country organizations, with the endorsement of 65 developed country organizations — to express a unified call for the adoption of the most robust environmental and social protections possible at the GCF.