The issue of financial support to poorer nations will play a major role during the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference, COP28.
Developed countries have pledged $9.3 billion (€8.8 billion) to help poor nations tackle climate change.
The announcement was made at a conference held in the German city of Bonn on Thursday.
The financial support will help developing nations reduce emissions and transition to clean energy.
Nongovernmental groups have criticised the pledge, however, saying the funds fall short of what is needed to combat the climate crisis.
Developed nations increase pledges to tackle climate change
Pledges made at the High-level Pledging Conference on Thursday will help replenish the South Korea-based Green Climate Fund, established in 2010 as a financing vehicle for developing countries.
It’s the largest fund of its kind aimed at financially supporting poorer nations in reducing their emissions, coping with the impacts of climate change and boosting their transitions to clean energy.
The money pledged at the conference in Bonn will be used to finance projects in developing and emerging nations between 2024 and 2027.
Twenty-five countries came forward with fresh pledges while five said that they would announce theirs in the near future. The German government alone pledged €2 billion.
“The collected sum will likely turn out to be much higher,” the German Foreign Ministry and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development said in a joint statement.
Three-quarters of contributing states increased their pledges, compared to the previous donor conference in 2019, including Germany, Austria and France. Denmark, Ireland and Liechtenstein doubled their pledges.
There was no mention of pledges from the United States. But in April, President Joe Biden announced $1 billion (€950 million) in new climate finance for developing nations at a White House virtual climate summit.
Developed countries are ‘still not doing their part’
Despite the increased pledges, NGOs criticised the commitments, saying they fall short of what is needed to tackle the impact of climate change on vulnerable communities in developing nations.
“The Green Climate Fund, envisioned as the lifeline for climate action in developing nations, is held back by the indifference of wealthy countries,” said Harjeet Singh, head of global political strategy of the Climate Action Network International, a network of over 1,900 environmental civil society organisations in over 130 countries.
“The silence of the United States […] is glaring and inexcusable,” Singh said.
“Developed countries are still not doing their part to help developing countries and affected people and communities with urgent climate actions,” said Liane Schalatek, associate director at the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Washington.
Climate funding will be a major topic at COP28
The issue of financial support to poorer nations will play a major role during the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference, COP28, starting in Dubai at the end of November.
Sultan Al Jaber, president-designate of COP28, told news agency The Associated Press in a statement that “the current level of replenishment is neither ambitious nor adequate to meet the challenge the world faces.”
“We must go further in our support for the most vulnerable, who are adversely impacted by escalating climate impacts,” he said.
German Minister for Economic Development Svenja Schulze, who hosted the Bonn conference, called on more nations to contribute their “fair share” to the financial effort.
“Besides the other industrialised nations, I increasingly see also the responsibility of countries who are not part of the classical donors: for example, Gulf states that got rich due to fossil energy, or emerging nations such as China who by now are responsible for a large share of carbon emission,” said Schulze.