Environmental Sciences

How’s Green Climate Fund doing?

How’s Green Climate Fund doing?
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The projects that the Green Climate Fund finances are expected to reduce 1.6 billion tonnes of CO2-equivalent and benefit over 350 million people.


Siddhanth Prasad, Assistant Professor, Assistant Professor, Jindal School of Environment and Sustainability, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.


The Green Climate Fund is the world’s largest dedicated climate fund. It accounts for about 73 per cent of the commitments made globally by multilateral climate funds. For those that prefer hard numbers, since 2014, it has raised close to $20 billion to assist developing countries tackle global climate change.

The projects that the GCF finances are expected to reduce 1.6 billion tonnes of CO2-equivalent and benefit over 350 million people. The hard numbers are mind-boggling to say the least; $20 billion, 1.6 billion tonnes of CO2? Surely all that about not doing enough is nonsense then? Surely the Green Climate Fund is doing everything that needs to be done?

Think again. Numbers are misleading, especially so when they are so eye-poppingly large. Let’s start with the money. $20 billion might sound like a lot, but it is not. Developing countries need about $1500 billion per year. What about all that CO2 that will be removed or avoided as a result of the GCF’s 129 projects?

The IPCC (the world’s leading scientific panel on climate change) estimates that we need to remove around 100 billion to 1 trillion tonnes of CO2 from the air by 2100 – the GCF’s contribution is hardly a few splashes of rain in the ocean. These numbers are not meant to instill a sense of fear but a sense of perspective. Even with the GCF operating at optimum efficiency, it is simply not going to be enough.

This, of course, does not mean that we should abandon the GCF. Far from it. The point is that it needs to be supplemented. But what about the GCF itself? Is it upholding the faith that the international community has placed in it? Do its actions reflect the sense of urgency that climate change requires? The numbers on the GCF’s official website would lead you to think so.

Published in: The Statesman

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