Norway has just signed an agreement to double its annual funding to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) – the global mechanism established to provide funding for climate mitigation and adaptation to developing countries. In 2020, Norway will go from NOK400million to 800million (AUD$130m) each year.
Most Pacific countries have already obtained grants from the GCF for projects to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change, but are now calling on developed countries to replenish the US$10 billion fund. The GCF’s first replenishment period began in 2018 and runs until the end of December 2023.
In contrast to many developed countries, Australia has joined the Trump administration in refusing to contribute new and additional funding to the GCF. Australia previously donated $200 million over four years and served as co-chair of the GCF Board. Australian diplomat Howard Bamsey was the Executive Director of the GCF Secretariat in Korea in 2017-18. For this reason, Australia’s backsliding gives crucial political cover for President Trump, at a time the United States is withdrawing from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
Returning from COP25 in Madrid, Howard Bamsey told an ANU seminar: “In terms of climate finance, the Australian decision not to replenish the Green Climate Fund, not to go back for the second instalment, is likely to affect Pacific countries particularly heavily. Australia’s initial contribution of $200 million meant that we had a seat on the board that makes decisions about funding… Australia will lose its board seat because it’s no longer contributing. There is no longer a Pacific Island representative on the board, so where does the leverage come from? This is a very, very significant decision on Australia’s part.”
Pledges in Paris were a start, but not yet enough to signal real GCF replenishment ambition
Green Climate Fund
After Paris – Climate Finance in the Pacific, Oxfam NZ