France consolidates its support for the countries most vulnerable to climate change and announces a €173-million financial package at COP28 (6 December 2023)


The acceleration of climate change and the intensification of the damage it causes for the most vulnerable countries requires the international community to react powerfully and swiftly. This sense of urgency prompted COP27 to take a major decision on how to respond to loss and damage in the most vulnerable countries. It also guides the principles of the Paris Pact for People and the Planet, a road map for reforming the international financial system, which President Macron proposed in June and has now been endorsed by over 40 States.

France’s mobilization has entered a new phase today with a €173-million contribution to various multilateral funds dedicated to combating climate vulnerability. This financial package comprises:

  • a contribution to the new Loss and Damage Fund which could go up to €100 million depending on how vulnerable countries are targeted,
  • a new tranche of €20 million to the Global Shield against Climate Risks, in which France has already invested €20 million in 2023,
  • a contribution of €35 million to the Least Developed Countries Fund,
  • a doubling to €10 million of our contribution to the Adaptation Fund for 2024,
  • the renewal of an annual €8 million for the CREWS programme (Climate Risks and Early Warning Systems). France has also provided financial support for the activities of the UN Secretary-General’s Early Warnings for All programme.

France is also fully mobilizing its bilateral instruments to respond to the challenge of loss and damage. The French Development Agency (AFD) commits several hundred million euros of funding every year to disaster-risk-management and -reduction programmes. As President Macron pledged during the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact in June, the AFD will propose clauses in 2024 allowing 26 especially vulnerable countries to suspend the reimbursement of their debt in the event of climate disasters.

As important as the financial effort of France and other developed – particularly European – countries may be, it cannot alone cover all needs, which are also growing. The whole international community must continue making active efforts, and accept that the dividing line drawn in 1992 between countries responsible for providing financial support and the others is now obsolete and must be replaced by a strong commitment from the major emerging countries. In this context, France sincerely congratulates the United Arab Emirates for its contribution to the most vulnerable countries and encourages all countries in a position to do so to emulate this effort.

This broadening of funding sources, from any country or institution in a position to contribute and through innovative mechanisms, is one of the priorities France promoted within the Transitional Committee and will go on promoting in the new Loss and Damage Fund’s governing bodies. Moreover, in future discussions at the new council to structure and implement this fund, good governance and prioritizing funding for the most vulnerable countries will be our compass and, in this respect, determine our timeframe for contributions. Indeed, focusing resources on the most vulnerable countries and populations is a strong, steadfast principle of France’s development policy, reinforced by the target set by President Macron to dedicate half of France’s bilateral funding to the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). At multilateral development banks, for those medium-income countries that need it, we are promoting a framework specifying a targeted and measured use of concessionnality for financing global public goods. This framework will enable us, among other things, to contribute to those countries’ energy transitions.

France is one of the main providers of climate finance, with a strong emphasis on climate change adaptation projects, which are predominantly in the poorest countries. For example, in 2022 France provided €7.6 billion of climate finance to developing countries, €2.6 billion of it for adaptation. France has also just announced a €1.61-billion contribution to the Green Climate Fund’s second replenishment (2024-2027). This exceptional effort reflects President Macron’s pledge in 2020 to devote €6 billion a year to climate finance, at least one-third of it for adaptation.

BRUNO LE MAIRE, Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, said:The climate emergency obliges us to protect the most vulnerable people and deploy every available source of finance. In this regard, I welcome the financial contribution announced by the United Arab Emirates, which is a significant step in broadening international solidarity, and I ask all the major economies to join us in this collective effort. Deploying every source of finance also means leveraging private finance, by means of public finance and/or innovative mechanisms. In this regard, the summit organized by President Macron which led to the Paris Pact for People and the Planet opened up and accelerated a number of promising projects – among them I welcome today’s launch, with Kenya, of a task force on international taxation aimed at scaling up finance for development and climate action.

CATHERINE COLONNA, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, said:France is rising to the occasion in terms of responding to the emergency and showing solidarity. The European Union was the driving force at COP27 to find consensus on the response to loss and damage. France and its European partners are still among the first today to be stepping up to the challenges, deploying a kaleidoscope of solutions. Our battle also, and above all, remains to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With COP28 beginning with a powerful move for those most vulnerable to the impact of global warming, it must necessarily end with a massive increase in our collective action to correct the climate trajectory.

AGNES PANNIER-RUNACHER, Minister for the Energy Transition, said: In the face of climate disruption, it’s our duty to concentrate our solidarity efforts on those countries which most need it. France and its European partners are stepping up to ensure this COP implements a plethora of solutions to address loss and damage in vulnerable countries, in a surge of international solidarity. Only together can we address the climate crisis. These contributions will enable us to launch the loss and damage response fund. Our actions are directly in line with the Paris Pact for People and the Planet championed by President Macron in June, which aims to reconcile the fight against climate change and the fight against poverty and to restore trust between rich and poor countries. All the work for COP28 remains to be done; we must now arrive at a decision that matches the challenges in terms of moving away from fossil fuels.

CHRYSOULA ZACHAROPOULOU, Minister of State for Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, concluded:In addition to this considerable financial progress – sometimes hard to perceive for people already experiencing the climate emergency on a daily basis, as I saw in Vanuatu – we’re implementing a ‘solutions diplomacy’ with very practical results for our partners. In northern India, we’re helping to create an elite rescue unit to tackle floods linked to melting glaciers, in Peru we’re supporting the Government to draw up a battle plan against El Niño, and in Mozambique Météo France is providing the national meteorological agency with its expertise to predict cyclones more effectively. In the face of loss and damage, our solutions are changing the scenario and meeting the immediate needs!