Depending on who you ask, the $9.7 billion in pledges for the Green Climate Fund is either a woeful start or an encouraging sign that wealthy nations are serious about helping poorer ones deal with climate change.
As climate treaty talks begin next month in Peru, it’s the opinions of those within developing nations that matter most. Negotiators for those countries have said they cannot commit to emissions reductions or sign a climate treaty without adequate financial support.
The pledge total is just shy of the $10 billion goal for the initial phase of the Green Climate Fund, and well short of the $15 billion that developing nations wanted.
The fund was set up to supply public and private money for projects that would help vulnerable nations shift to low-carbon energy and adapt to the effects of climate change.
Estimates for how much money is needed vary widely. After reviewing many of those estimates, the Stockholm Environment Institute said poorer nations would likely need, on average, more than $600 billion per year in climate aid just for the shift to low-carbon energy.
Here’s a look at the gap: