We're on the ground in Paris for the duration of the COP21 climate conference. Negotiations actually started last night, but today is the opening with nearly 150 head-of-state arriving for the opening ceremony. Announcements are coming quickly as the official conference gets underway.
Following is a press release from 11 donor countries, including the United States, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom:
Today in Paris, we announce contributions totaling $248 million USD to the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), hosted by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
The LDCF plays a key role in addressing urgent and immediate adaptation needs of least developed countries, focusing on reducing the vulnerability of sectors and resources that are central to human and national development, such as water, agriculture and food security; and infrastructure, as identified and prioritized in their National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs). The LDCF also supports the national adaptation planning process in coordination with others as a means to reduce medium- and long-term vulnerability to the impacts of climate change and facilitate the integration of climate change adaptation into relevant policies, programs and activities. From the LDCF’s inception in 2001 through June 2015, $931.5 million has been approved for projects, programs, and enabling activities to meet this mandate. Projects supported by the LDCF have mobilized $3.8 billion in co-financing in 51 countries.
The following contributions to the LDCF will continue supporting priorities identified by recipient countries that are essential for climate-resilient sustainable development and livelihoods:
- Germany will contribute a total of 50 million Euros (approximately $53.0 million USD) to the LDCF (2015/2016).
- The United States announces a contribution totaling $51.175 million USD to the LDCF in 2015 and 2016.
- The UK will provide a further contribution of 30 million GBP (approximately $45.1 million USD) to the LDCF in 2016.
- France will provide a contribution of 25 million Euros (approximately $26.5 million USD) to the LDCF in 2016.
- Canada will contribute 30 million CAD (approximately $22.4 million USD) over the next two years.
- In 2016 Denmark will commit 156 million DKK (approximately $22.1 million USD) to the LDCF (subject to parliamentary approval). With this pledge, the cumulative Danish contribution to the LDCF amounts to 376 million DKK (approximately $53.4 million USD).
- In 2016 the Swedish government intends to provide a grant to the LDCF of SEK 100 million (approximately $11.5 million USD).
- Ireland will continue to support the LDCF and will provide, subject to budget approval, at least 6 million Euro (approximately $6.4 million USD) by 2020.
- Switzerland will increase its annual contribution to the LDCF by 75% and will provide in total CHF 6.25 million (approximately $6.0 million USD) to the LDCF from 2015 until 2018.
- Italy will provide to the LDCF, through its Ministry for the Environment, $2 million USD by the end of 2015. Italy is strongly committed to scale up its support to the fund in the following years, including in 2016, subject to budget availability and approval.
- Finland has supported the LDCF since 2003, the cumulative contribution amounts to about 32 million Euros (approximately $41 million USD at time of contribution). This includes the contribution given this year 1.6 million Euros (approximately $1.8 million USD at time of contribution).
 All conversions to USD are based on exchange rates as of 11/27/2015.