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Surprise, Surprise: Nations Fail To Meet Climate Fund Deadline

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Agence France-Presse

Nations missed a self-imposed deadline to firm up pledges worth $4.7 billion (4.2 billion euros) to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) by Thursday, mustering arrangements for less than $4 billion, the fund said.

This leaves it short of the threshold to start funding projects to curb dangerous climate change, GCF executive director Hela Cheikhrouhou told journalists by teleconference from Songdo, South Korea.

“The fund has successfully signed agreements for close to $4 billion from 21 countries, representing 42 percent of the amount ($9.3 billion) pledged at our pledging conference in Berlin” last November, she said.

The 30-odd funder nations had agreed that 50 percent of the $9.3 billion Berlin pledges should be converted into “contribution agreements”, with timetables for payment, by close of business Thursday.

“The 50 percent figure was necessary to enable the fund to start its programming activities, meaning to commit financial resources to mitigation and adaptation projects and programmes,” said Cheikhrouhou.

The figure achieved was “not sufficient,” she said, and urged “all remaining contributors to turn their pledges into signed agreements at their earliest opportunity.”

Countries that have not signed include the United States, which had pledged $3 billion, Japan ($1.5 billion), Canada ($277 million) and Australia ($187 million), said a GCF document.

The fund was created after developed countries agreed at a UN climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009 to mobilise $100 billion annually by 2020 for climate aid to developing countries.

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