The UN-backed Green Climate Fund has pledged $1 billion in new projects and programs for developing countries.
The commitment is in prelude to the UN climate talks in December, where member nations will discuss implementing the Paris Agreement, the legally binding document 195 nations signed in 2015, committing them to limiting global warming by reducing emissions.
The 19 new projects approved over the four-day meeting in Bahrain (which ended Sunday) include investing in renewable energy in Tonga, transforming financial systems in Africa and South America, and enhancing climate resilience in India’s coastal communities. Other projects address water resources, food security, and electricity grids in developing countries around the world.
One disputed project focuses on the freshwater sources of the hosting country, Bahrain, the Associated Press reports. Environmentalists argued Bahrain should pay for freshwater cleanup using some of the vast amounts of money it has made from oil and gas, but the GCF, the world’s largest climate change fund, approved the project despite the controversy.
GCF also made plans to raise more funds, an important move since U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the Paris Agreement last year, denying an additional $2 billion pledged under the Obama administration.
“We are in a much better place going into these crunch climate talks in December,” Joe Thwaites, an associate in the World Resources Institute’s Sustainable Finance Center, told the CBC. “Continued GCF support for developing countries is a key component of success in the international negotiations.”
The announcement of GCF’s new projects comes just weeks after the release of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s special report, which outlines the drastic changes the world must undergo before 2030 to stop global warming from reaching more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Achieving that goal would prevent the worst effects of climate change, including the elimination of coral reefs, severe heatwaves, famine, and detrimentally high sea levels.