The trillion dollar question at COP28

Posted on December, 04 2023

Will developed countries deliver the climate finance the world needs to keep 1.5 alive?
COP28 has seen some notable finance developments so far - including agreement on the Loss and Damage Fund to support countries already impacted by the climate crisis; a $30 billion catalytic fund from the UAE designed to unlock private finance across the Global South, and a $270 billion green finance pledge from its banks; and commitments from Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) that promise to unlock over $180 billion in additional climate finance.

These developments and others are welcome. But developing countries need trillions not billions. And there’s a gaping abyss between what’s been pledged and what’s required.

WATCH: Aaron Vermeulen, Global Finance Practice Leader, WWF, reflects on Finance Day at COP28.

Emerging markets and developing countries outside China need $2.4 trillion a year in investment by 2030 for a just energy transition, adaptation and resilience, loss and damage, and conservation and restoration of nature - a fourfold increase on current funding for these priorities.

Bridging the gap requires the private sector to set ambitious transition plans that deliver massive investment in adaptation and nature-based solutions.

Leading multilateral development banks are planning to launch a global ‘task force’ at COP28 to scale up 'debt-for-nature' swaps to help protect vital ecosystems. And several have already agreed to pause debt repayments for countries suffering climate shocks.

But governments and public development banks must address the fundamentals by regulating climate- and nature-related risks, repurposing global financial architecture, and finding innovative ways to use public finance to unlock and channel private capital where it’s needed most.

The bottom line is that COP28 must finally deliver on the long overdue 2009 annual $100 billion pledge for developing countries, and agree an ambitious post-2025 Climate Finance Goal.

But the trillion dollar question remains - will COP28 keep 1.5 and the most climate-vulnerable countries and communities alive?

WEBINAR: Supercharging blended finance for a net zero, nature-positive transition

Join WWF on Thursday Dec 6th at 3.30pm in the Panda Pavilion along with special guests from GEF, Equity Group Holdings, The Lightsmith Group, and Business for Nature to find out more, and explore how blended finance can help secure a net zero, nature-positive transition. Also via livestream at

Press Enquiries

WWF has a number of experts available on the ground at COP28 and remotely to provide commentary in multiple languages on topics ranging from key issues in the negotiations to the energy transition and the dual climate and nature crises. To set up an interview with one of our experts, contact

Aaron Vermeulen, Global Finance Practice Leader, WWF, reflects on Finance Day at COP28
COP28 event announcing progress on Global Islamic Finance Program
© Paula Martinelli / WWF Int