Mitigating climate change is about reducing the release of greenhouse gas emissions that are warming our planet. The many mitigation strategies include retrofitting buildings to make them more energy efficient; adopting renewable energy sources like solar, wind and small hydro; helping cities develop more sustainable transport such as bus rapid transit, electric vehicles and biofuels; and promoting more sustainable uses of land and forests.
About 1.4 billion people around the world rely on traditional fuels like coal and wood to meet their basic energy needs. This is not only harmful to the environment: it can also lead to premature deaths for millions of people, especially women and children. By 2035, global energy demand is projected to grow by more than 50 percent, and even faster in developing countries. All these new consumers need clean energy that will not hurt them or the environment.
Technology is rapidly advancing, and opening doors to the adoption of green energy. But many countries lack capacity to take the next step. Governments may need policies, laws and regulations to promote sustainable energy. They may lack money to invest in innovation. And their public and private sectors may both need support to shift toward a low-carbon future.
What We Do
Since its inception, the GEF has provided at least US$4.2 billion and leveraged $38.3 billion from other sources for more than 1,000 mitigation projects and programs in over 160 countries. We support a wide variety of mitigation strategies. As noted in the GEF-6 Climate Change Mitigation Strategy, our approach has three objectives:
- Promote innovation, technology transfer, and supportive policies and strategies.
- Demonstrate mitigation options with systemic impacts.
- Foster enabling conditions to mainstream mitigation concerns into sustainable development strategies.
In practice, this support touches on a range of sectors, including:
- Power: ensuring access to low and zero carbon energy solutions, such as solar, wind, small hydro, biopower and geothermal energy.
- Cities and Transport: investing in sustainable transport, as well as clean energy solutions for buildings and consumers
- Forests: targeting the sources of deforestation to ensure forests continue to provide environmental, social and economic benefits.
- Agriculture: promoting practices that reduce land degradation issues and enhance soil quality, while reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the sector.
- Manufacturing: improving energy efficiency and reducing emissions
- Waste: reducing GHG emissions from landfills coupled with reduction in release of chemical pollutants and contamination.
What we’ve achieved in the energy sector alone
Production and consumption of energy is the single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. GEF investments are geared to mitigate these emissions through specific projects. For example:
- Energy efficiency: introducing standards for consumer appliances and equipment, such as lighting, air conditioners and motors, and stronger building codes.
- Renewable energy: commercializing and scaling technologies like solar, wind, small hydro, biopower and geothermal energy.
- Policy: introducing feed-in tariffs, reverse auctions and other market-based mechanisms and financial instruments to speed up investments in clean energy.
In GEF’s first 25 years, we have provided support for 940 climate change mitigation projects expected to contribute 8.4 billion tonnes of direct and indirect GHG emission reductions over time.
tCO2 emissions avoided
In GEF grants for clean energy
Additional resources for clean energy leveraged by GEF