U.S. pledge to Green Climate Fund welcome first step, but much more is needed
WASHINGTON, D.C. – It is reported that the Obama Administration will soon announce a $3 billion pledge for the United Nations Green Climate Fund, ahead of a pledging session November 19-20 in Berlin, Germany to capitalize the Fund. While a step in the right direction, the pledge falls far short of what is actually needed by developing countries to address climate change.
“Given the partisan make-up of Congress, $3 billion is a reasonable figure,” said Karen Orenstein, Senior international policy analyst with Friends of the Earth U.S. “But if we step outside of Washington’s warped politics, then $3 billion falls magnitudes below what is actually needed by developing countries to confront a climate crisis that is not of their making.”
Analysts have expressed concern about the congressional obstacles ahead for the GCF pledge. “Is the entire world supposed to be held hostage to the fossilized thinking of our Congress? Climate deniers in Congress must get their heads out of the sand and work with their fellow elected officials to appropriate significantly more than $3 billion,” said Orenstein.
The Green Climate Fund, a new institution under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, is tasked with channeling funds primarily from developed to developing countries — to meet their adaptation and mitigation needs. It is expected to be the world’s premier international climate fund.
“The provision of climate funds is a legal, as well as an ethical, obligation under the UN Climate Convention. The rich countries that caused the climate crisis — the U.S. top among them — must fill the GCF with funds commensurate with the scale of need. That’s a fundamental first stepping stone on the road to an equitable, science-based global agreement in Paris in December 2015,” said Orenstein.