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Climate finance is about more than numbers

A global transition, towards a green future, built on resilience, will not come for free. Investments are needed, and action needs to be taken. And there is need for someone to pay the bill.


Climate finance has been a key element in the climate debates for years, and some progress has been made. The Green Climate Fund is a concrete result from the UN talks, and with a pledging meeting in Berlin, Thursday, the fund is finally starting to be filled.


The need for climate finance is huge, and it is difficult to set targets, and to make priorities. UNEP has recently said that adaptation only in Africa will amount to 50 billion USD per year from 2050, which would consume half of the total target, of 100 billion USD per year, for climate finance from 2020. Developing countries have called for at least 15 billion USD from the first pledging round to the Green Climate fund. This should not be unrealistic, but donor countries are still hesitating.


The debate about climate finance is focused on numbers, and different targets, and criteria for how to count. This debate is certainly important, as resources must be mobilized, and monitored. However, if we forget why the funds are needed, and what effect the investments will have, targets will only become empty figures.


ACT alliance is a global alliance of churches and church based NGOs, working with development and relief. Through our work we face the urgent need for action every day. Every dollar negotiated in UN climate talks, can contribute to the transition needed on the ground around the world. Lack of investments in adaptation, and mitigation has horrifying costs. People die because of effects from climate change, and their livelihoods are destroyed.


The pledging meeting in Berlin will be important. Let us hope donor countries bring their wallets. We need ambitious pledges.

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