Massachusetts UN Least Developed Countries Fund

Oxford Climate Policy has for some time been working closely with a number of North American partners in promoting the idea of sub-national contributions to multilateral climate funds (“Finance for the Paris Climate Compact: The role of earmarked (sub-) national contributions“)

In Paris at COP 21 this idea had a first breakthrough with the announcement of a CA$ 6 million contribution to the UNFCCC Least Developed Countries Fund by the Province of Quebec, followed by announcements from the Belgian regional governments and the City of Paris (“In Paris it became ‘chic’ for sub-nationals to provide multilateral support for climate change finance. Now it must become ‘de rigueur’!“).

Moreover, as it is highly unlikely that the present US administration will be contributing to (UN) climate funds (“Hope for the best, prepare for the worst! What next with American climate finance?“), the only solution is to “Think Local, Act Global!

We are therefore extremely pleased to be able to announce another breakthrough, this time in the US, facilitated by our partners at the Institute for Sustainable Energy  of Boston University: On 27 March, State Senator Michael Barrett filed “An Act enabling taxpayer donations to the Least Developed Countries Fund, an initiative of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change” in the Massachusetts Senate.

The Act makes use of the fact that quite a number of states, including Massachusetts, allow tax payers to earmark (“check-off”) a share of their tax refund on their personal income tax form as contribution to certain state programmes. It proposes to create a “Massachusetts UN Least Developed Countries Fund” to be replenished through such a tax refund check-off programme and any other public and private sector contributions) for the benefit of the UNFCCC Least Developed Countries Fund. (Fact sheet)

We hope that other sub-national authorities, particularly in the US, will follow suit in thinking local but acting global to enable the poorest and most vulnerable allies to combat climate change while reducing poverty.

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