Progress on Green Climate Fund

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Whilst last week, there were concerns about getting the Green Climate Fund (GCF) operational, this week has seen great progress. After a slow start last week with the US trying to clock the agreement with their concerns about the need for greater separation for the Fund from the COP.

The Fund was agreed at COP 16 in Cancun, Mexico last year. It requires developed countries to provide 100 billion dollars to poorer countries by 2020 to help them cope with carbon emissions and adapt to climate change.

The design document has been agreed on by all parties, whilst it is acknowledged it is not perfect, all agreed that the fund must be made operational. There are still concerns about the rules for investment from the private sector; with developing countries calling for tighter rules and the US calling for looser rules.

BASIC countries re-affirmed their commitment to the Fund in a press briefing this week, stating this was a key concern of theirs and for China a pre-condition to any further negotiations of an international deal.

One remaining issue to be resolved is how to fill the fund. The aim of the fund is to get $30bn start up and $100bn annually to 2020. Developing countries are concerned the Fund could end up an empty shell without clear commitments on financing.

Connie Hedegaard has promised that developed countries will make clear their pledges for the Fund by the end of the conference but that only when the fund is set up would countries know how much they can put in. The success of the GCF very much depends on these pledges.

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