The headquarters of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), a new UN fund aimed at helping developing countries tackle climate change, is officially opened in South Korea on Wednesday.
An opening ceremony was launched on Wednesday morning to celebrate the Green Climate Fund with its headquarters located in Songdo of Incheon City, west of the South Korea's capital Seoul.
World Bank President Jim Kim, UN climate chief Christiana Figueres and International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde attended the launch ceremony, a signal of the significance of this new institution. South Korean top officials including President Park Geun-hye and Deputy Prime Minister Hyun OhSeok also joined in the ceremony. "Today is a historic day. Governments now have a crucial tool at their disposal to leverage billions in finance for developing countries to green their economies and increase their resilience to the inevitable effects of climate change,"said UN climate chief Christiana Figueres on the occasion of the opening of the headquarters of GCF. The Green Climate Fund (GCF), which was agreed upon at the UN climate talks in Cancun in 2010, requires developed countries to provide 100 billion US dollars each year to poorer countries by 2020 to help them cope with carbon emissions and adapt to climate change.
Figueres added that the agreed 100 billion US dollars is to catalyze and redirect much greater investments. As the promise has been largely unfulfilled so far, she urged governments to capitalize the fund as soon as the final modalities are clarified in 2014.
Co-Chair of the fund's Board Jose Maria Sarte Salceda, who comes from Philippines, stated that the country's recent painful experience shows it is so urgent to act on climate change and called for support from the international community to operate this fund.
To support the South Korea-based headquarters, the South Korean government has agreed to provide 1 million US dollars per year in operation costs until 2019 while the city of Incheon will also provide 1.4 million US dollars in a one-time payment for office supplies.
"Today, the Green Climate Fund is taking its first historical step. As the host country of the fund, the (South) Korean government is committed to actively engaging in climate action. What we need now is political will and courage to join this action, " Deputy Prime Minister Hyun Oh-Seok said in a press release.