By Saleem Shaikh
LIMA, Peru: The Governments of Australia and Belgium today joined hands with other nations in pledging to further capitalise the Green Climate Fund. Australia has pledged 200 million Australia dollars and Belgium EUR 51.7 million to the Fund, respectively, latest figures show.
The announcements came at the high-level Ministerial Session on Climate Finance held here on Dec 9, bringing total pledges of contributions to the Fund to about US$ 10.14 billion equivalent.
This amount comprises all pledges made by 24 countries since GCF’s initial resource mobilization efforts took off in July this year.
“The USD 10 billion threshold reached here at COP20 is a landmark achievement,” said Hela Cheikhrouhou, Executive Director of the Fund. “I warmly welcome the new pledges from Belgium and Australia and congratulate them for their leadership,” she said, thanking them also for their active role on the Board of the Fund.
“The pledge from Australia will facilitate private sector led economic growth in the Indo-Pacific region with a particular focus on investment in infrastructure, energy, forestry and emissions reduction programmes,” stated a joint press release issued by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop. The latter addressed the conference in Lima.
Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo said that “through the Green Climate Fund, we are helping developing countries to also ensure sustainability of their economic growth path.”
“The Green Climate Fund continues to call upon countries that are able and willing to come forward and invest in the Fund. We equally call upon developing countries to take urgent actions to access the Fund in the coming months,” said Cheikhrouhou.
70 developing countries have so far designated a national authority or focal point as the governmental counterpart of the Fund. 27 of them have requested support from the Fund to get ready and access it.
The High-level Ministerial Session on Climate Finance was attended by the 196 Parties to the UNFCCC, 35 of which took the floor to guide the deliberations on the Fund.