Australia needs to double climate finance for COP26, rejoin Green Climate Fund

October 20, 2021 at 2:24 pm 3 comments

Fairer Futures Report

In 2009 wealthy countries committed to raising $100 billion per year of climate finance from 2020. This climate finance commitment was a lynch pin of getting many developing countries on board for the Paris Agreement in 2015. A recent review and report conducted by the OECD found that only $79.6 billion per year has been raised. See John Englart’s September 2021 Blog Post: Australian climate finance falling far short of our fair share, getting worse.

A new Australian report asseses Australia’s responsibility in climate finance and advocates that Australia, at the very least, double its current commitment to $3 billion of climate finance for the current 5 year period of 2020-2025, and rejoin the Green Climate Fund.

Climate Action Moreland Convenor John Englart said, “For doing our fair share on climate finance and solidarity with developing countries, Scott Morrison should announce at the UN Climate talks in Glasgow an initial doubling of Australia’s climate finance commitment to at least $3 billion for 2020 to 2025.

“It is Important that Australia also rejoins the Green Climate Fund to enhance multi-lateral financing of projects for both emissions reduction and climate adaptation and resilience building.”

Scott Morrison withdrew Australia from the Green Climate Fund in a radio interview in October 2018.

ActionAid Executive Director Michelle Higelin said the UN Climate Change conference at Glasgow, COP26, offered a critical opportunity for Australia to reclaim its historic role as a leader in climate financing. 

“Australia has the power to play a critical role in shaping and strengthening the way our world responds to this crisis. How we respond to climate change over the next decade will determine the fate of billions of people globally, and the stability and prosperity of our region. 

“Ambitious international climate finance pledges, alongside bold domestic emission reduction targets, are critical for successful and just global climate solutions.”

The Fairer Futures: Financing Global climate Solutions report was produced by major Australian climate NGOs: Climate Action Network Australia, Action Aid, Climate Council, Edmund Rice Centre, The Australia Institute, and Greenpeace. Climate Action Moreland is listed as supporting this report and its recommended finance actions for Australia.

Australia has the responsibility and capability to expand climate finance commitments and ensure that low-income
countries, including our Pacific Island neighbours, can adapt to worsening climate impacts. Based on Australia’s
wealth and greenhouse gas emissions, Australia’s fair share is estimated at 2.5 per cent of global climate action.

Australia can achieve this fair share by immediately doubling its climate finance commitments to $3 billion over
2020-2025; recommitting between $700-900 to the Green Climate Fund by 2023; and progressively increasing its
financing to achieve its fair share of $12 billion annually by 2030.

Fairer Futures Report (2021)

Australia’s fair share of climate finance will depend on our own emissions reduction targets. The more action we do at a more rapid pace, the less climate finance commitment.

The ODI report on climate finance published in September 2021 found that for Australia’s fair share:

“Australia should be contributing $2.7–3.7 billion a year depending on which metric is used to attribute fair share. In 2017–2018, it provided an annual average of $477 million, or 16% of its fair share measured against the composite index. Almost all of Australia’s bilateral climate finance was provided as grants. Looking forward, Australia has committed AU$1.5 billion ($1.1 billion) for climate finance for 2021–2025 (Government of Australia, 2020), which means it will be funding only 8% of its fair share over the next five years.”

A fair share of climate finance? Apportioning responsibility for the $100 billion climate finance goal. ODI Working Paper.

An OECD report highlighted the gap in international climate finance of $20.4 billion per year.

Under the Paris Agreement countries need to start negotiating climate finance for 2025-2030 period with $100 billion a year a floor to this commitment.

Key climate finance Recommendations of Fairer Futures Report (1)

Scale up Australia’s contributions to global climate finance in three stages to 2030; these stages are:

  • Immediately double Australia’s current climate finance to $3 billion over 2020-2025.
  • By 2023, shape regional and global climate responses by committing an additional $700 – $990 million to the Green Climate Fund.
  • By 2030, scale up Australia’s climate finance to meet its fair share of $12 billion annually.

Support a standalone finance arm for loss and damage in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC):

  • Provide financial support and compensation to the most vulnerable communities, who are already experiencing loss and damage.
  • Ensure this finance is met through public and innovative sources that adhere to human rights principles.

Channel fossil fuel subsidies into climate finance

  • Cease federal subsidies to fossil fuel industries and reallocate funding to climate finance.
  • Cease providing any official development assistance, foreign investment, export credit or trade promotion that supports fossil fuel extraction.

Prioritise locally led, gender-responsive climate finance to ensure projects:

  • Align with the priorities of countries and communities that receive climate finance, including Pacific Island Countries.
  • Support local leadership including women, men, gender-diverse and young people to lead efforts to adapt to climate change.
  • Prioritise the most vulnerable countries and communities.
  • Promote gender justice, human rights and social inclusion.
  • Ensure support to communities is adequate and accessible, particularly to diverse groups, including feminist and women-led organisations.
  • Supporting the goals of the Paris Agreement, in particular, keeping warming to less than 1.5 o Celsius.

Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Lyn Morgain stressedt here was far more Australia could be doing now as well as setting ambituous 2030 climate targets to address our climate commitments:

“In the past year alone, we’ve seen deadly cyclones, huge locust swarms and unprecedented heatwaves and bushfires, all turbo-charged by climate change – it’s clear the climate crisis is here. And those on the frontline are those who have contributed to their situation the least,” Ms Morgain said.

“This is clearly a human rights issue. We owe it to all low-income countries – but particularly our Pacific neighbours who are facing the very real threat of rising sea levels compounded by the COVID-19 crisis – to help them deal with the consequences of our rampant consumption and recent inaction.”

ActionAid Executive Director Michelle Higelin highlighted that Australia was doing some things right with our current level of climate financing.

“In some ways, Australia is showing the way when it comes to climate finance. Unlike many other wealthy countries, we have equally distributed our funding between mitigating against rising emissions and supporting countries to adapt to the impacts we are already seeing. We’ve also given that funding through grants rather than loans. But we can do so much more.”(4)


(1) Fairer Futures: Financing Global Climate Solutions (2021). Available at:
Action Aid
Oxfam Australia

(2) Colenbrander, S., Cao, Y., Pettinotti, L. and Quevedo, A. (2021) A fair share of climate finance? Apportioning responsibility for the $100 billion climate finance goal. ODI Working Paper. London: ODI ( ).

(3) OECD, Statement from OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann on climate finance in 2019, 17 September 2021, Climate finance for developing countries rose to USD 79.6 billion in 2019 – OECD 

(4) Oxfam Australia, 20 October, 2021, Australia must take lead and urgently ramp up climate funding for at-risk countries: new report

Entry filed under: climate change info, news, UNFCCC. Tags: , .

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