COP28 held its Finance Day on Monday the 4th of December (2023), the foreign governments and organisations in attendance pledged donations that have reached a record in regards to funding.
The meetings and events on finance were opened by Simon Stiell, who is the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In his speech to open the event he addressed those in attendance and stated that:
“Finance is a great enabler of climate action.”
It is apparent through COP28, and the previous COPs, that finance is incredibly important when it comes to combatting climate change and protecting those that are affected the most. At COP28, this message appears to have been heard as there have been reports that this year’s event has seen a significant rise in funding that has reached a new record.
The Green Climate Fund is one of the finance initiatives that has seen record donations at COP28. The Green Climate Fund was set up as part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in order to act as a financial mechanism. This financial mechanism has been put in place to help those in developing countries to adapt to climate change and mitigate against the negative effects and challenges it imposes.
In October 2023, the Green Climate Fund carried out a High Level Pledging Conference in Bonn, Germany. At this conference, 25 countries around the world pledged around $9.3 billion to combat climate change. At COP28, these pledges increased further.
A further five countries agreed to pledge large sums of money to the Green Climate Fund at COP28, these countries are the US, Estonia, Italy, Switzerland, and Portugal. There pledges add up to around $3.5 billion, which increases the funds total to $12.8 billion for the next four years. This is a record for Green Climate Fund.
Upon the announcement of these pledges, Simon Stiell stated why they are so important:
“The simple idea behind the Green Climate Fund is among the best, critical ideas we
have had in the fight against climate change. Finance is the great enabler of climate
action. Providing grant funding for developing countries can get both mitigation and adaptation projects off the ground.
It builds momentum. It leverages grant funding to multiply its impact. It helps
developing countries build ambition into their Nationally Determined Contributions
and their National Adaptation Plans.”
Part of the Green Climate Fund is the Infrastructure Climate Resilient Fund which has seen an increase in investment as $250 million has been donated. Stiell stated that with its full potential reached, this funding could reach 144 million people in Africa to help them to become more climate resilient. Especially as many people in Africa contribute the least to climate change but are affected the worst by its impacts.
The UN is now working to encourage other countries to pledge to the fund, Stiell stated: