Lima, Peru – The Green Climate Fund’s initial capitalization target of $10 billion has been exceeded.

Governments of Australia and Belgium on Tuesday joined other nations in pledging to the Green Climate Fund, committing AU$ 200 million (Australia) and EUR 51.7 million (Belgium) to the Fund, respectively.

The announcements were made at the High-level Ministerial Session on Climate Finance that was held at COP20 in Lima, bringing total pledges of contributions to the Fund to approximately US$ 10.14 billion. This amount includes all pledges made by 24 countries since GCF’s initial resource mobilization efforts started in July this year.

The spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon predicted that the achievement “will enhance trust among Parties who have been working together for the last two years to craft a new climate change agreement by next year.”

He called it “a down payment” on action for reducing emissions and building climate resilience in developing countries. “This is just a beginning but it will spur further momentum to define a credible pathway to ramp-up climate finance to $100 billion a year by 2020,” he said.

“The USD 10 billion threshold reached here at COP20 is a landmark achievement,” said Hela Cheikhrouhou, Executive Director of the Fund.

The pledge from Australia will facilitate private sector-led economic growth in the Indo-Pacific region with a focus on investment in infrastructure, energy, forestry and emissions reduction programmes, said a press release issued jointly by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop.

Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo said that “through the Green Climate Fund, we are helping developing countries to also ensure sustainability of their economic growth path.”

Seventy developing countries have designated a national authority or focal point as the governmental counterpart of the Fund. Twenty-seven of them have requested support from the Fund.

The High-level Ministerial Session on Climate Finance was attended by the 196 Parties to the UNFCCC, 35 of which took the floor to guide the deliberations on the Fund.