Countries just short of $10bn target for Green Climate Fund.

AFP: “Thirty countries meeting in Berlin on Thursday pledged $9.3bn for a fund to help developing countries cut emissions and prepare for global warming, just shy of a $10bn target.”
“The South Korea-based Green Climate Fund aims to help nations invest in clean energy and green technology and build up defences against rising seas and worsening storms, floods and droughts.
German Environment Minister Gerd Mueller, after co-hosting the donors’ conference, hailed the achievement, saying humanity must fight climate change so “it doesn’t go the way of the dinosaurs”.
Hela Cheikhrouhou, the fund’s executive director, praised the “game-changing” pledging conference which had raised a record amount for international climate finance in just five months.
She said the money would be spent equally for climate change adaptation and mitigation, especially for the most vulnerable nations, including small island nations and Africa’s poorest countries.
Cheikhrouhou said raising the billions had created “renewed trust and enthusiasm” ahead of international talks in Peru next month, and in France a year later, on slashing worldwide carbon emissions.
The fund is designed to help those countries least to blame for, but most at risk from, climate change with grants, loans and private capital for projects such as solar and wind farms, planting trees or disaster-proofing infrastructure.
UN climate chief, Christiana Figueres, has called for an initial capitalisation of at least $10bn by the end of the year, to be disbursed over four years from 2015.
The United States days ago pledged $3bn and Japan $1.5bn. Germany and France and Britain have promised about $1bn each, and Sweden over $500m.
Smaller amounts have been offered by countries including Switzerland, South Korea, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Mexico, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic. Australia has ruled out contributing but Canada is expected to make a pledge.
The fund is seen as a step toward a far more ambitious goal set at the Copenhagen climate summit five years ago – for the world to “mobilise” $100bn a year for broader climate finance by 2020.”