Financing A Green Future

Youth Climate Action Team Inc.
4 min readFeb 20, 2024

Due to climate change, the world faces extreme hurricanes, floods, and droughts, collectively costing an estimated $2.8 trillion by the end of 2030. Furthermore, the average cost of losses due to extreme weather events between 2000 and 2019 is estimated to be over $143 billion, a staggering $16.3 million per hour.

Societies worldwide are struggling with the consequences and expenses associated with these repercussions, and it is not surprising that developed nations have a historical climate debt to developing countries. The impoverished and marginalized, including women, the elderly, people with disabilities, and indigenous peoples, are the groups most severely impacted in these nations. As climate change exacerbates pre-existing issues, including poverty, injustice, and inequality, it is critical that financial resources be allocated to vulnerable populations.

It has been argued that the financial responsibility should lie with the countries accountable for the damage and capable of rectifying it. Developed and wealthier countries with industrialized economies like the United States, England, and Germany have benefited from economic expansion that relies heavily on carbon emissions. Thus, it is incumbent upon polluters to contribute to the financial burden of mitigating climate change. Action worldwide has been taken to ensure this notion, such as the Copenhagen Agreement, achieved in 2009, committed to providing developing countries $10 billion annually until 2020 to mitigate the impact of climate change on their economies. Since then, many have seen a shift in views toward investing due to a greater understanding of the dangers and difficulties caused by climate change. Specifically, the term green finance has gained popularity, which refers to financing public and commercial environmentally friendly investments, covering administrative and capital expenses, including water management and protection of biodiversity and landscape projects. Green financing is vital for the United Nations to achieve several Sustainable Development Goals, collaborating with public and business sector groups to synchronize international financial systems with the sustainable development agenda.

Climate finance is an umbrella term for green finance, and it mainly offers countries the essential financial resources to combat the detrimental impacts of climate change through activities like purifying pollutants on land, air, or water, decreasing fossil fuel usage, and limiting harmful emissions such as greenhouse gasses. In fact, the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement all support adaptation actions in the climate change movement, which require wealthier parties to provide financial aid to less wealthy and vulnerable countries. These documents acknowledge the disparity in wealthier countries’ contributions to climate change and their abilities to mitigate and adapt to its effects. That being said, trends in climate finance are essential for adaptation since substantial financial resources are required to adjust to the negative impact and reduce the consequences of climate change.

On the other hand, while governments are lending more and more money that needs to be repaid, vulnerable populations, especially in developing countries who receive loans, find it difficult to repay them. Investors frequently have interests that are at odds with those of nations and communities.

Thus, there is a need for a collective effort to mitigate these effects, considering climate finance on a level where not just large corporations or government-scale projects can contribute, but where everyone can — especially the leading generation. For example, younger Americans, specifically Millennials and individuals in Generation Z, are notably more involved in addressing climate change, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. In the past year, 60% of Gen Zers and Millennials actively engage with the issue by participating in activities like volunteering and attending rallies and protests to combat climate change.

However, not everyone may know where to start in this crucial financing movement. That’s why it’s important for the leading generations to create a more significant platform by using educational tools to pursue green and climate finance-related activities. By doing so, we can all contribute to a better future for our planet. One way to get involved is by joining the Youth Climate Action Team Inc. (YCAT) Finance Department and their newest initiative, the Finance Fellowship Program. Through a structured three-month cycle system, participants referred to fellows will actively contribute to fundraising initiatives featured during the spring, summer, and fall cohort sessions. Fellows select their interest in being a part of the FYI team (fundraising initiatives) or GAP team (grant writing initiatives), ultimately raising money for YCAT initiatives and providing opportunities for participants to practice and apply fundraising, outreach, community engagement, and strategic planning skills. Young people play a crucial role in creating a sustainable future, which is why YCAT and this fellowship are committed to reaching student leaders across the country, aiming to provide the resources and support needed so all can contribute to the climate and green finance movement, and team up together against the prejudices of climate change.

Make a difference in the world of green finance today by signing up for the YCAT Finance Fellowship Program!



Youth Climate Action Team Inc.

501(c)4 youth movement bridging the gap between non-climate groups & intersectional climate action.