Members of Climate Action Network Canada and the Canadian Coalition on Climate Change and Development (C4D) welcome today’s announcement that Canada will replenish its commitment to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). This pledge comes at a critical moment, when global trust and progress on climate action are splintering over wealthy nations’ reluctance – and backsliding – to mobilize finance at the scale needed by countries facing the worst impacts of the climate crisis.
In Brussels today, Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault announced that Canada will contribute CAD $450 million to the GCF over the course of 2024-2027 – an increase of 50% over its 2019 pledge. As the largest fund under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the largest multilateral climate fund, the GCF plays a key role in enabling financial support to developing countries to implement the Paris Agreement. Civil society organizations have called for a doubling of GCF resources from the 2019 replenishment.
Canada’s announcement falls short of that doubling, and does not represent new and additional funding; rather, the $450 million will fall under the umbrella of the existing 2021 climate finance commitment of $5.3 billion climate finance over 5 years. It’s also unclear how much of the pledge will come in the form of grants as opposed to loans, despite the mounting debt burden shouldered by the Global South and fuelled by the climate crisis.
Pratishtha Singh, Senior International Policy Analyst, Climate Action Network Canada; Co-chair, C4D (Canadian Coalition on Climate Change and Development):
“In this decade of implementation, climate adaptation and mitigation efforts don’t happen magically – they need real money. As a wealthy and high-polluting country, Canada needs to show solidarity with the most vulnerable communities and ecosystems battling the climate crisis by putting money on the table.
“Today’s announcement is an encouraging sign – but it must not stop here. Canada must increase climate finance to its fair share of the global effort and convince other wealthy countries to scale up their own contributions to the Green Climate Fund ahead of the pledging conference in October.”
Carl Friesen, Public Policy Advisor, Canadian Foodgrains Bank; Co-chair, C4D (Canadian Coalition on Climate Change and Development):
“The Green Climate Fund is a critical tool to provide funding for developing countries to address the growing threats from climate change, especially for women and girls, who are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Canada’s increased contribution to the Green Climate Fund is a welcome sign of Canada’s ongoing commitment to collective climate action, but much more is needed for Canada to meet its fair share and to address rapidly growing needs. We encourage Canada to show global leadership by announcing that it will provide its $450 million contribution in grants rather than loans and to scale up overall international climate finance to meet current needs.”
Catherine Abreu, Founder & Executive Director, Destination Zero:
“It’s clear that Canada was paying attention at the Bonn climate talks in June, which were gridlocked by tensions over developed countries’ failure to deliver on existing finance pledges – let alone scale the delivery of finance to the levels required. The most interesting part of today’s announcement is its timing as Canada prepares to co-host the seventh Ministerial on Climate Action with China and the EU. Canada can now play a key role in encouraging fellow donor countries to step up and provide the finance that’s necessary to unlock climate ambition in advance of COP28. While it’s a good faith move for Canada to increase its GCF pledge by 50%, the amount of money Canada has put on the table falls short of the call on donor countries to double their investments – we can do more.”
Andrée-Anne Côté-St-Laurent, Policy and Advocacy Advisor, SOCODEVI:
“SOCODEVI welcomes Canada’s reinvestment in the Green Climate Fund, but shares concerns about how the funds will be distributed. This must be for the benefit of the most vulnerable people, women and girls, who live in developing countries that are already pressured by climate change and a debt burden. As the Paris Agreement recognizes the importance of providing grant-based resources for adaptation, SOCODEVI stresses the importance for Canada to deliver the $450 million in the form of grants to Least Developed countries and Highly Vulnerable Small Island Development States. These countries should not be responsible for reimbursing developed countries for adapting to or mitigating the impacts of climate change, for which they are largely not responsible.”
Justin Murgai, CEO, WaterAid Canada:
“WaterAid Canada welcomes Canada’s leadership with today’s announcement for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) replenishment of $450 million (CAD). This investment is urgently needed to support low-income countries to adapt to the increasing impacts of climate change – change that is evident within and beyond Canada’s borders. Prioritizing investment in resilience has never been more essential, particularly for marginalized populations already grappling with water insecurity and the absence of sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene services. Strengthening resilience to climate change and associated crises demands immediate attention, as changes in temperature, rainfall, and extreme weather events most often manifest through water. We urge Canada and G7 members to show leadership by investing in critical water and sanitation services to strengthen the resilience and adaptive capacity of low-income countries and populations.”
Tom Green, Senior Climate Policy Advisor, David Suzuki Foundation:
“As a high polluting country, Canada has a responsibility to the global community to accelerate the transition to renewable energy, to adapt to increasingly extreme weather. Increasing Canada’s contribution to the Green Climate Fund is one important way to help developing countries take action on climate change. As temperatures break records around the world, we need to see more investment to reduce emissions and support adaptation, both here at home and internationally.”
Melanie Snow, Legislative Affairs Specialist, Ecojustice:
“As a high polluting country, Canada needs to support and empower people enduring the worst impacts of the climate crisis, especially in vulnerable countries. Today’s announcement is one step in that direction, but more solidarity is required, both internationally and at home. Canada must also fight the causes of the climate crisis by reigning in its multi-billion dollar domestic fossil fuel investments, and aligning its own financial system with a sustainable and decarbonized future.”
Andrea Koehle Jones, Founder, The ChariTree Foundation:
“As ‘out of control’ global temperatures continue to smash records, The ChariTree Foundation is encouraged by Canada’s climate leadership and latest contribution to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Many countries facing the worst impacts of accelerating climate change are also the poorest and have younger populations. Millions of children are already facing devastating impacts from climate change. Children should be at the heart of climate finance decisions and we must do more.”
Gerardo Almaguer, CEO, Desjardins International Development:
“We welcome Canada’s new contribution to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which is higher than the previous one. The GCF is a crucial mechanism for contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gases and the adaptation of the most vulnerable populations, in particular young people, women and Indigenous peoples, who are already facing major impacts from climate change. We are convinced of the urgency of taking action, leaving no one behind, and recognize Canada’s leadership role in the fight against climate change.”
Dana Stefov, Women’s Rights and Climate Justice lead, Oxfam Canada:
“Oxfam is encouraged by Canada’s announcement to contribute $450M to the Green Climate Fund and further encouraged by the 50% increase over the previous contribution. We hope this will be the first step on the road to greater inclusion, equity and access for those hardest hit by the climate emergency – women, girls, Indigenous peoples, environmental defenders, small-holder farmers and vulnerable countries. Commitments to the Green Climate Fund are important as a measure of good faith with countries who have least contributed to climate change and who are hardest hit. But, we can and must do more, in line with our historic emissions and relative wealth. The Green Climate Fund should not cause further indebtedness, and must come as grants. Furthermore, the sheer scale of public resources required to remedy the problem calls on rich countries such as Canada to enact progressive taxation measures such as wealth or windfall profits taxes.”