On a meeting in Berlin on Thursday, thirty wealthy nations pledged to donate $9.3 billion towards the Green Climate Fund, a sum dedicated toward reducing emissions and helping to protect developing and poorer nations from the stark effects of climate change. This is a little short of the $10 billion goal that was supposed to be reached, but it is a big step forward in investing to prepare help prepare for the effects of climate change. Environmental officials everywhere have highly praised the fund, and more countries are to offer donations by the end of the year.
Poorer countries have already started to suffer from environmental issues attributed to climate change. Many believe that they stand to suffer the consequences of climate change more drastically than other countries because of lack of renewable resources, environmental landscapes, capable technologies, quality housing, and, of course, money. As a result, this fund is to be used to help start projects to improve all of these aspects of developing nations. Among the nations expected to receive these benefits are many of Africa's poorest nations as well as small island countries. According to the executive director of the Green Climate Fund, the money will be distributed equally on both helping populations of these countries adjust to the effects of climate change as well as working to reduce the severity of the environmental effects. These projects are planned to start near the end of 2015.
The bulk of contributions toward the fund have been made by some of the biggest nations in the world. The United States is the biggest contributor, pledging over $3 billion. Japan and Norway offered $1.5 billion and $1.3 billion respectively, and the United Kingdom, Germany, and France all pledged around $1 billion. Various other countries have pledged smaller yet significant amounts, including Sweden, Italy, and South Korea. Poland and Canada are also expected to make contributions by the end of the year, and Austria and Belgium are hoping to contribute as well.
The Green Climate Fund is considered to be a small step towards bigger goals. A global climate agreement is scheduled to be held in Paris by the UN next December. The Berlin meeting is considered to be a quality advance towards the heavy negotiations that are supposed to occur at this next summit. In terms of funds, at least $100 billion is expected to be collected from private and public channels of countries all around the world by 2015. This sum was set as a goal in a Copenhagen summit for climate change held about five years ago. The major intention for all of this is to prevent the temperature of the planet from warming past 2 degrees Celsius by 2100.
The Green Climate Fund has been praised worldwide as an important advance in reducing climate change. However, some warn that that funds and goals may be missing the mark and that more drastic steps will have to be taken to prevent the roasting of the planet. Nevertheless, this is definitely an important step forward in helping poorer countries suffer less from the extent of climate change.