Almost $250 million will be donated to the world’s most vulnerable countries in a bid to help them cope with the impacts of climate change.
The news was revealed at the COP21 global climate change talks in Paris, which opened today and will last two weeks.
Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the United States will contribute a total of $248 million to the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), a climate fund hosted by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
The funding will enable the GEF to help build resilience against environmental variability and disasters including droughts, violent storms and a rise in sea level, as well as explore new approaches to agriculture and provide ‘adaptation support’.
“Given that we’re already locked into climate change trajectories for many years to come, increased investment in adaptation has to be at the core of the new climate agreement,” said GEF CEO and chairperson Naoko Ishii.
“We know that many billions are required over the next few years to fill the gap in climate finance, but the money pledged today is vital to help some of the most vulnerable people on the planet cope with the immediate impacts of our rapidly warming world.”
More than 150 world leaders have assembled in Paris for the high-level talks.
“I have seen for myself how people from across the developing world are leading the way to climate solutions,” said Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and the United Nations secretary-general’s special envoy on climate change.
“But the scale and international nature of climate change requires an unprecedented level of international solidarity and support. So today’s announcement should be seen in that context: they are not just about dollars and cents and accounting. They are about supporting millions of people across the world.”
During the talks the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement will hold its first summit, on 5 December.
The network, which was established in April 2015 and is a joint initiative of Seoul Metropolitan Government and global sustainable procurement association ICLEI, will outline how they intend to fulfil their commitments to sustainable production and consumption and exchange experience and knowledge. Cities in countries including South Africa, Finland, Belgium, New Zealand, the US and Poland are members.
ICLEI is a global association of over 1,000 local authorities in 86 countries, including the UK, with a mission to promote global sustainability through local action.
“These global SPP [sustainable public procurement] ambassadors are joining efforts to raise awareness on the benefits of sustainable public procurement and public procurement of innovation, as well as combating climate change with their activities,” said Gino Van Begin, ICLEI secretary-general. “Network participants show their commitment to improve the quality of life for their citizens, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, foster new markets, create new job opportunities and save money for their administrations.”