The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Green Climate Fund Reaches Its $10 Billion Goal
It took a tiny country with a population of only 11 million people to put it over the top. This week, the Green Climate Fund (GCF), founded to help poor nations deal with the impacts of climate change, finally reached its $10 billion goal, thanks to Belgium's pledge of $62 million. The announcement came at this week's climate conference in Lima, Peru.
Photo credit: Shutterstock
"Through the Green Climate Fund, we are helping developing countries to also ensure sustainability of their economic growth path," said Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo.
But the real surprise was a commitment from Australia, which has been going backward on addressing climate change since fossil fuel cheerleader Tony Abbott took control of its government last year. Just last week he said his country would not be contributing to the fund, but would instead help its poorer neighbors directly, including through a "green bank" he has vowed to abolish. Yesterday in Lima, Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop said that the country pledged to contribute $200 million to the fund over the next four years.
"The pledge to the Green Climate Fund will facilitate private sector led economic growth in the Indo-Pacific region with a particular focus on investment in infrastructure, energy, forestry (building on the successful Asia Pacific Rainforest Summit hosted in Sydney in November) and emissions reduction programmes," said the press release from Bishop's office.
Still, The Guardian of London reported that Australia is demanding that the money be spent in its region, while the GCF rules give contributing countries only limited input into how and where the money is spent.
"The USD 10 billion threshold reached here at COP20 is a landmark achievement,” said the GCF's executive director Hela Cheikhrouhou.“I warmly welcome the new pledges from Belgium and Australia and congratulate them for their leadership. The Green Climate Fund continues to call upon countries that are able and willing to come forward and invest in the Fund. We equally call upon developing countries to take urgent actions to access the Fund in the coming months."
Twenty-seven countries have already requested access to the fund.
"Crossing the $10 billion threshold is a major milestone that demonstrates commitment to help vulnerable countries confront climate impacts," said Athena Ballestros, finance director of the World Resources Institute. "A number of countries—including the U.S., Germany, France, and even Mexico and South Korea—have stepped up in recent weeks to push the fund over this important marker. These contributions should build trust in the negotiations and propel action to a global agreement.”
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Oil rigs around the world keep pulling crude oil out of the ground, but the global pandemic has sent shockwaves into the market. The supply is up, but demand has plummeted now that industry has ground to a halt, highways are empty, and airplanes are parked in hangars.
Under an agreement negotiated by community groups — represented by NRDC and the Pennsylvania Utility Law Project — the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) will remove thousands of lead water pipes by 2026 in order to address the chronically high lead levels in the city's drinking water and protect residents' health.
By Dave Cooke
So, they finally went and did it — the Trump administration just finalized a rule to undo requirements on manufacturers to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new passenger cars and trucks. Even with the economy at the brink of a recession, they went forward with a policy they know is bad for consumers — their own analysis shows that American drivers are going to spend hundreds of dollars more in fuel as a result of this stupid policy — but they went ahead and did it anyway.
By Richard Connor
A blood test that screens for more than 50 types of cancer could help doctors treat patients at an earlier stage than previously possible, a new study shows. The method was used to screen for more than 50 types of cancer — including particularly deadly variants such as pancreatic, ovarian, bowel and brain.
Preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control showed a larger number of young people coming down with COVID-19 than first expected, with patients under the age of 45 comprising more than a third of all cases, and one in five of those patients requiring hospitalization. That also tends to be the group most likely to use e-cigarettes.