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World's largest climate fund for vulnerable nations gets boost at COP28

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Dubai, Dec 4 (IANS) The Green Climate Fund (GCF) received a boost to its second replenishment (GCF-2) with the announcement of four new pledges.

The US, Estonia, Portugal and Switzerland pledged new funding at the opening High-level Segment of world leaders at COP28.

The additional $3.2 billion builds on momentum from GCF’s High-level Pledging Conference in Bonn in October, where 25 countries pledged their support to GCF totaling $9.3 billion.

Total pledges now stand at a record $12.5 billion from 29 countries with further contributions expected.

The pledges made at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai were: Estonia -- one million euro; Portugal -- four million euro; Switzerland -- CHF 135 million; and US -- $3 billion.

Mafalda Duarte, Executive Director said: "This is a new era for the Green Climate Fund and the investments we need for a future we all deserve. Our record $12.475 billion replenishment means the world's most vulnerable communities and our partners, including the private sector, have an even stronger ally for ambitious climate action that mobilises innovative partnerships, speeds up reforms to deliver finance quickly and efficiently, and supports transformation where it's needed most."

The amount pledged so far in this funding cycle exceeds the $10 billion for the first replenishment period (GCF-1). This new funding will enable GCF to channel new, predictable financial resources to developing countries over the next four-year programming cycle (2024-2027) to tackle the impacts of climate change and protect the most vulnerable communities.

The UK government made commitments to help vulnerable countries strengthen their resilience to the increasingly frequent and severe effects of climate change at the COP28 summit on Sunday.

International Development and Africa Minister Andrew Mitchell announced 100 million pound to support some of the most climate-vulnerable countries to tackle climate change. This will support an initiative to strengthen early warning systems in countries on the frontline of climate change, giving people advanced warning of cyclones, flooding and other extreme weather so they can move away from danger, saving lives and protecting vulnerable communities.

The funding will also help make healthcare in these areas more resilient and able to withstand disasters, like floods, and ready to deal with spikes in infectious diseases, like cholera and malaria, due to floods caused by climate change.

Responding to the $3 billion pledge by the US, the COP28 Presidency, on Monday said, "We congratulate the United States on a substantial commitment of $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund. Coupled with a combined $158 million pledged by Czechia, Estonia, Portugal and Switzerland this now puts the total amount at $12.475 billion raised."

"This means we have surpassed the target for the second replenishment of the world's largest climate fund by over $2 billion. Crossing this threshold demonstrates commitment to help vulnerable countries confront climate impacts.

"The COP28 Presidency has advocated for bold steps to drive meaningful change in our global efforts to combat climate change. This is also demonstrated through the $725 million of commitments from multiple parties toward the fund and funding arrangements, related to loss and damage.

"COP28 is enabling collective action to restore trust and deliver at scale. These commitments, along with several other impactful announcements made by countries at COP28 and a joint COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate Finance Framework, are instrumental in maintaining the momentum we are building here in Dubai to achieve the highest-ambition response to the Global Stocktake."



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