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The Future Fund: Supporting states and regions in the Climate Decade

31 March 2021, 11:00 BST 3 min read

The Under2 Coalition’s Future Fund has now been running for five years thanks to generous contributions from governments such as Alberta, Baden-Württemberg, Ontario, Québec, Scotland, South Australia and Wales.

Throughout this time the fund has been supporting states and regions, mainly in the Global South, to access resources on climate change that are often only available to larger economies. Practically this has meant providing funds to governments so that they can attend UN COPs or other international climate events and translation services so they are able to participate.

In 2018 and 2019, 30% of all states and regions represented at the Under2 Coalition’s General Assembly were from developing and emerging economies: all made possible by the Future Fund.

This is a particularly important role and one which the Under2 Coalition values highly. Climate change not only affects everyone, but it often disproportionately affects less developed countries. Therefore, it is absolutely vital that these countries have a seat at the table when significant decisions are being made about the future. Giving a voice to every member matters.

“I am very pleased that the Future Fund is such a success story: we have managed to establish a program that offers very uncomplicated and direct support for smaller projects. It also enables a number of members of the Under2 Coalition to participate in important conferences and mutual exchanges.

"Through this we strengthen the cohesion of the members enormously. For the years to come, I would like to see even more members participate in supporting the Future Fund in order to further strengthen its positive effects.”

Minister Franz Untersteller MdL, Baden-Württemberg

In 2021 the Future Fund is again being supported by the governments of Scotland, Québec and Baden- Württemberg. Between them, these governments are providing substantial funding to ensure a just transition remains at the top of the Under2 Coalition’s agenda in this crucial year.

“The recovery from the pandemic offers the opportunity to shape a cleaner, greener, and more inclusive world economy. The Future Fund is even more important today as it is helping to level the playing field for developing regions and emerging economies, and is sending a clear message that we all have to address the climate challenge together."

Benoit Charette, Québec's Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change

As well as assistance with travel and access to high-level meetings, the Future Fund offers training and technical expertise in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In 2018, for example, it supported the State of Colima in Mexico in updating and strengthening its emissions inventory. This enabled Colima to identify its most polluting sectors and understand where to focus emissions reduction efforts.

Since 2017:

  • More than £400,000 has been committed to the Future Fund by supportive governments;
  • 11 secondments have taken place, linking governments across the world including Querétaro with Nariño, North Rhine-Westphalia with West Kalimantan and British Columbia with Yucatán; 
  • 9 major projects have been launched in areas such as energy efficiency, adaptation, clean transportation, carbon pricing and climate change laws.

"The challenge of tackling the climate emergency requires everyone to work together across geographic and sectoral boundaries. Wales is one of the first countries in the world to have legislation linked to the UN's sustainable development goals, with one goal specifically focusing on being a globally responsible Wales.

"As part of our global responsibility, Wales continues to join forces with other states and regions to ensure no countries are left behind in efforts to combat the long-term effects of climate change. I am proud that Wales is part of the Future Fund as it is a key mechanism for us to collaborate, share ideas, and to drive faster and bolder climate action."

Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Welsh Government

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Fund activities have had to adapt to new circumstances. In 2020 a team from the Under2 Coalition's secretariat, based in the Climate Group, facilitated a number of online workshops for Western Cape to help with creating their climate vision and identifying areas to focus their climate action. The workshops included guest speakers from the Western Cape Government, the City of Cape Town and the Scottish Government.

Now the Under2 Coalition has released a new booklet with detailed information on the Future Fund as it launches a year of fresh activities. Alongside examples of past projects, the guide highlights the difference modest sums can make in promoting and supporting effective climate action.

The Climate Group is also inviting contributions from governments to ensure that more states and regions can have access to global decision-makers when it comes to climate change. Those eligible for the Fund’s support have a GDP per capita of less than $20,000 USD, meaning they often do not have the same level of access as their counterparts in developed and advanced economies. 

Grants of $25,000 can deliver a capacity-building project involving workshops and tailored support, while $5,000 covers translation costs for an entire year. These services have ensured governments in the Global South can influence global decisions and actions on climate change. As we approach COP26 – described by many as one of the most important ever held – this influence is crucial.


    Future Fund guide.pdf

    Size: 6.12 MB

    Date added: 25/02/21


    1. The Future Fund is overseen by an Advisory Board, which includes representatives from the contributing governments. It is managed by the Climate Group, which acts as Secretariat to the Under2 Coalition. The Climate Group’s role includes overseeing the allocation of funding, preparing contracts, planning activities and providing regular project summary reports.