German climate finance / Green Climate Fund (GCF)

Finally: Merkel pledges 750 million Euro for the Green Climate Fund (GCF)

Angela Merka promises 750 Mio Euro for the Green Climate Fund – and makes an important political signal. Now other donor countries must act. © BMUB

Germany will pay 750 million Euro into the new Green Climate Fund (GCF). This is what German Chancellor Angela Merkel promised – at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue, a regular conference to which the German government invites ministers from around 35 countries each year to discuss international climate protection. The fifth climate dialogue (July 14th to 15th, 2014 in Berlin) focussed on structures for a future agreement as well as the commitments foreseen for countries.

With this announcement Germany is undertaking the first step for the initial capitalization of the as yet empty Green Climate Fund. The GCF is supposed to finance climate change mitigation and adaptation in developing countires to a much larger extent than other funds. Since its establishment at the UN climate conference in 2010, the GCF Board is working on the concrete arrangements for the fund, e.g. regarding funding criteria, impact monitoring or the distribution of funds. As the last meeting of the GCF Board managed to decide on the essential requirements, now the focus is on the resource mobilization for the GCF.

When will other countries make their pledges? Especially the US, UK and Japan are now under pressure. © Oxfam

What is the German pledge worth?

750 million Euro are a considerable sum – but they are stretched over nine years. In 2015 a first payment of less than 20 million Euro is foreseen. It is of equal importance that German climate finance does not only shift money from one pocket to the other, but that the overall volume increases. For 2014 the German government has just recently agreed on large cuts. Therefore the government needs to significantly raise climate finance in 2015 – for this the pledge to the GCF can play an important role.

More rich countries must follow

The pledge is an important political signal. It puts pressure on other rich countries, especially the US, France, the UK or Japan. Developing countries have recently demanded that industrialized countries need to make financial commitments of at least 15 billion US-Dollars by the end of this year. Should this be achieved, it could rebuild trust between industrialized and developing countries and give new impetus to the ongoing negotiations for the new climate agreement.

 Jan Kowalzig / Oxfam