Sweden hosted the last and conclusive negotiation meeting on increased funds to the Global Environment Facility (GEF). By the conclusion of the meeting, 29 donor countries made pledges representing a strengthening of the fund by a total of US$ 4.1 billion.
The host nation pledged over SEK 2 billion (≈US$226 million) which is an increase of Sweden’s contribution to the fund of more than 50 percent for the period 2018–2022, compared with the period 2014–2018.
According to a statement, the money will primarily go towards financing the most ambitious programme of work in the fund’s history. The agreement reflects the donors’ strong support for the GEF and means that approximately 140 developing countries will receive increased resources to achieve global environmental goals.
The GEF is responsible for the primary financing of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and a number international environmental conventions. As a result of the agreed increase in resources, the GEF is expected, compared with current operations, to be able to contribute to:
- emissions reductions that are twice as large;
- better management for 50 percent more environments on land and close to water;
- more than 100 000 tonnes of persistent organic pollutants, mercury and other hazardous chemicals being phased out;
- almost 4 tonnes of the world’s most overexploited fish stocks approaching more sustainable levels.
It is particularly pleasing that the GEF now has resources to strengthen the work for living oceans and combating marine littering and plastics. In addition, the fund will have an increased focus on innovative financing models. Thus we hope to see a leverage effect that can produce greater dividends per Swedish aid krona, said Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate Isabella Lövin.
GEF is an important partner to Sweden in the implementation of the Government’s development policy objectives and in work to improve living conditions for poor people locally and strengthen environmental and climate-related public goods in developing countries. Sweden is currently the largest per capita donor and the eighth largest overall.
A strong Global Environmental Facility means that we can contribute more effectively to the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda, said Minister Lövin.