The world's largest international climate funds

By Fatima Arkin 19 August 2016

A waste picker at a dump site signs on a Global Environment Facility banner in  Bacolod, Philippines. The financial entity is one of the world’s largest international climate funds. Photo by: GEF / CC BY-NC-SA

Developed countries committed to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change have set a goal of jointly mobilizing $100 billion a year since 2009 to support climate action in the world’s poorest countries.

The pledges were defined in the Copenhagen accord then formally adopted by the United Nations in the Cancun agreements a year later. And at the 2015 Paris climate talks, the world agreed to continue aspiring to the $100 billion target until 2025 by which point a new and ideally larger goal will be set.

The degree to which donor countries are fulfilling financial climate commitments is a contentious and complex issue. According to a 2015 study conducted jointly by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Jakarta-based Climate Policy Initiative, donors in 2014 were almost two-thirds of the way toward their $100 billion goal having mobilized roughly $62 billion in public and private aid.

The report — the largest effort yet to quantify progress on climate finance — faced criticism from some environment and development groups. The South Africa-based NGO ActionAid called it “misleading” because the report included market-rate loans and export credits that benefit “actors in rich countries.” Meanwhile, the international development community is pushing for the mobilization of trillions not just billions of dollars.

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About the author

Fatima Arkin@FatimaA8

Fatima Arkin is a Manila-based freelance journalist specializing in climate change, human rights and natural disasters. She has reported onsite at the 2015 Paris climate conference, the MERS outbreak in South Korea and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines for Foreign Policy,, Maclean’s and many others. She holds a B.A. in international development and history from McGill University and a graduate diploma in journalism from Concordia University, both located in Montreal, Canada.

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