UN chief welcomes Green Climate Fund pledges

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Renewable Energy Solar Panels in Tokelau. [File photo/UN]

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the pledges of more than 9.3 billion U.S. dollars made by Governments towards the initial capitalisation of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) at the first pledging conference for the mechanism, being held in Berlin, Germany.

In a statement, the Secretary-General's Spokesperson said that these pledges "will go far to kick-start" the operationalization of the Fund.

"These developments demonstrate that Governments increasingly understand both the benefits derived from climate action and the growing risks of delay," the Secretary-General's spokesperson explained.

The pledge comes on the heels of other significant climate actions such as the United States-China joint announcement to curb emissions as well as positive commitments reaffirmed by other leaders in recent meetings including at the G20 and the September UN Climate Summit.

Today's actions will provide much needed public finance which is critical to unlocking investments at a much larger scale from private sources, Mr. Ban said.

The Secretary-General also underscored the importance of climate finance for securing a meaningful, universal climate agreement in Paris in 2015 and for catalysing action on the ground.

He urged all developed countries that have not yet pledged to the GCF to do so by COP 20 in Lima and encouraged those developing countries that are in a position to do so, to consider making voluntary contributions to the Fund in Lima.

The Green Climate Fund seeks to make a significant and ambitious contribution to the global efforts towards attaining the goals set by the international community to combat climate change.

The Fund will contribute to the achievement of the ultimate objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). And in the context of sustainable development, it will promote a shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development.

"The Green Climate Fund is the epicentre that determines the direction of both public and private investment over the next decades," said Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, describing the capitalization of the Fund as one of the wisest investments in the 21st century.

Today's pledges were made by 21 countries, including contributions from four developing countries. Their combined contributions provide for the largest amount the international community has ever mobilized for a dedicated climate finance mechanism within a timeframe of less than five months.

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