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Feds Pledge $450 Million Towards UN Climate Change Fund

The federal government is committing $450 million towards the United Nations’ (UN) Green Climate Fund (GCF), which Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault’s department says is intended to help developing countries establish their own “clean energy transitions and climate-resilient sustainable development.”

Mr. Guilbeault’s department says the funding will go toward the “second replenishment” of the GCF, which the Environment Department calls the “world’s largest dedicated climate change fund.”

It adds that the GCF’s project portfolio includes over 215 approved projects supporting climate “adaptation and mitigation in 129 countries” as of this March, which the department says totals “a committed amount of US$12 billion of GCF funding, and a portfolio amounting to US$45 billion.”

“The GCF plays an important role in supporting and advancing the voices of those in developing countries who are disproportionately impacted by climate change, including women and girls, Indigenous peoples, and the most disadvantaged communities,” said the Environment Department, on July 12.

Canada’s additional funding announcement for the GCF comes as countries prepare new commitments for this year’s UN COP28 climate conference, to begin in late November.

Canada previously allocated funding towards the GCF in 2019, and Mr. Guilbeault says Ottawa’s new commitment more than doubles its previous one.

The funding is part of the federal government’s five-year $5.3 billion climate finance commitment, which Ottawa doubled in 2021.

“We need more money, and we need more money from all sources,” Mr. Guilbeault said after making the announcement on July 12, adding that other countries and the private sector should also be increasing their climate commitments.

“Would I like Canada to put even more money on the table? I’m the environment and climate change minister, I’m not the finance minister, unfortunately. But I think we can always do better.”

The environment minister’s latest announcement follows the federal government saying in June that it will be giving a $20 million technical assistance grant to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in support of “climate adaptation, mitigation and resilience projects.”

Global Affairs Canada said on June 26 that Ottawa’s $20 million grant for the EBRD comes as part of its support for the bank’s “High-Impact Partnership on Climate Action.”

The bank says the partnership is aimed at attracting investments from around the world to “reduce or prevent greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability to climate change, and protect the environment.”

Reuters contributed to this report.

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