Sweden pledges $500m to Green Climate Fund
By Sophie Yeo
New budget from centre-left government offers additionalcash for developing countries
Sweden will pay half a billion dollars into the UN’s green bank, the government will announce in its 2015 budget. From this sum, around $70 million will be additional to itsdiverted from existing development projects.
The $500 million will be delivered over a four-year period. “We are not eroding our important international aid work,” Åsa Romson, Sweden’s environment minister and vice prime minister told Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet. Sweden’s centre-left minority government will announce the budget bill on 23 October.
New prime minister Stefan Löfven said he was committed to “leading the fight against climate change” in his first speech.
“As a proportion of their GDP that makes it the most ambitious pledge to date. If Germany pledged an equivalent amount of their GDP, their €1bn pledge would have been more than 3.5bn, and the US would have to pledge around US$ 15bn,” said Tim Gore, a climate finance expert at Oxfam International.
“That’s the kind of real leadership we need to fill the fund and to send the signal that governments are serious about tackling climate change. The pledge does still need to be approved by the Swedish parliament, so we hope they follow the leadership the new government is showing.”
The money will go into the UN-backed Green Climate Fund, which will channel climate finance towards poor countries. Financial pledges from developed countries are expected to amount to $100 billion a year from 2020.
So far, countries have been slow to come forward, with around $2.3 billion in the pot so far, mainly provided by France and Germany. Sweden had previously given another $40 million.
Until recently, the structure and safeguards of the GCF had been in limbo. This uncertainty had discouraged countries like the US and UK from making contributions to the Fund. A board meeting which concluded on Sunday in Barbados removed the final obstacles to potential pledges, observers said. States are now expected to