ACT (Action by Churches Together) Alliance General Secretary John Nduna welcomed the Danish and German pledges of nearly €55m to the Green Climate Fund in Durban, South Africa.
He said it was a strong political signal that showed commitment to the fund even before it was operational. The Green Climate Fund is a pot of money that will finance mitigation, adaptation and new technology in poor countries hit by climate change.
The pledges raise hope that delegates at the COP17 climate talks will be motivated to get the Green Climate Fund, which does not yet operate, up and running.
The announcement that Germany would provide €40m and Denmark almost €15m came late in the day on December 7, the second day of the ministerial talks in Durban.
The fund is expected to be one of the few concrete results from Durban, which has so far netted little for developing countries and small island states struggling with the effects of climate change.
Last year's climate summit agreed that industrialised countries would mobilise US$100b a year by 2020, which would be channeled through the fund.
“The efforts to mobilise climate finance cannot be underestimated," Nduna said. "There is need for money and this can be distributed through the Green Climate Fund. Following this evening's news, we call on the parties to increase their ambitions and talk about raising climate finance towards 2020 and beyond.
"As many ACT members are part of the fabric of their communities, we know the great need for climate finance. Much of ACT's work in disaster risk reduction, relief and development is related to the adaptation agenda of these climate talks."
Mattias Soderberg, ACT head of delegation, said it was crucial Durban delivered progress on the fund in order for it to start channeling money to poor people around the world.
In announcing the decision, Danish climate minister Martin Lidegaard said that unless money started flowing into the fund it would be nothing but an empty shell. "For me, it's also a matter of trust. We in the developed world have promised to deliver and obviously we have to live up to that obligation."
He said the money came with the clear condition that the fund was put into operation.
Notes for editors:
ACT (Action by Churches Together) Alliance is global coalition of 125 churches and related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. CWS is a member.The alliance works in 140 countries and mobilises US$1.6 billion annually in its work to achieve justice for the world’s poorest people. It has over 33,000 people working for it globally.
December 8, 2011
Durban, South Africa