GEF: Nations rally to protect global environment
April 25, 2018 Countries pledge US$4.1 billion to the Global Environment Facility. Close to 30 countries have jointly pledged US$4.1 billion to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to better protect the future of the planet and human well-being. With the health of the global environment worsening, the GEF has received strong support for its new four-year investment cycle, (known as GEF-7), to help safeguard the world’s forests, land, water, climate, and oceans, build green cities, protect threatened wildlife, and tackle new environmental threats like marine plastic pollution.
"We are pleased with the outcome of the negotiations; It is entirely in line with government priorities,” said Isabella Lovin, Deputy Prime Minister and Climate Minister of Sweden, who hosted the donors meeting here today. “Also, the Fund’s working methods have been further strengthened, giving it more of a strategic climate focus and increased resources, including for biodiversity, chemicals and waste.
“A clear majority of donors have stepped up their support for the GEF, signaling the urgency of the global environmental agenda, and trust in the GEF to help tackle the problem and achieve even greater results,” said Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson. “We need to forge the partnerships that will help transform the food, urban and energy systems in an integrated way. GEF-7 is designed to do just that,” she said.
With an emphasis on addressing the drivers of environmental degradation, gender equality, and stronger collaboration with the private sector, the GEF is now poised to deliver even greater results for the environment, and better value for money: The new strategy doubles the target for greenhouse gas emissions mitigated from GEF projects compared to the last funding cycle, and increases by almost 50% the targets for the protection of biodiversity and valuable ecosystems.
“Over the last 25 years the GEF has been an essential mechanism for addressing environmental challenges at a multilateral level and has made a great difference”, said Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank Vice President, Development Finance, and co-Chair of the replenishment meeting. “Today, the international community again gave GEF a strong vote of confidence through the endorsement of a $4.1 billion financial support package for the next four years. With this renewed mandate, GEF will be able to continue its important role as an impact investor in environmental programs around the globe.”
The new funding will support countries to meet their obligations under various multilateral environmental agreements, including the recently adopted Minamata Convention on Mercury, the three Rio Conventions on Biodiversity, Climate, and Land Degradation, and the Stockholm Convention. Also, strong emphasis is given to financing for Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States.