United Nations Environment Programme
Photo: Magda Ehlers

Environment Fund

The Environment Fund is our core source of flexible funds, provided by our Member States. It is critical to our work in science, policy and environmental law, which in turn helps drive positive impact for the environment. The Fund provides the bedrock for our work worldwide, as we support countries to deliver on the environmental dimensions of the 2030 Agenda.

The Environment Fund is a true green investment – and benefits all nations.

The Environment Fund is used for:

Of the Fund, 85 per cent is used for the seven thematic sub-programmes. The rest supports strategic direction, management and programme support, which are critical for implementing the organisation's vision and ensuring robust oversight and delivery.

Contributions to the Environment Fund

In 2020, the Environment Fund provided US$ 74.2 million, or 15 per cent, of UN Environment Programme's (UNEP) total income. The income received represented 74 per cent of the approved budget. 

Since 2012, UNEP membership encompasses all 193 UN Member States, who are responsible for funding our programme. In 2020, 77 Member States contributed to UNEP, out of which 32 contributed at their "fair share" level (see below). Currently, the top-15 funding partners provide over 90 percent of the income. (all figures as at Dec 2020)

We are grateful to all our funding partners for the support that they provide to UNEP. 

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What is each Member State's "fair share" of the Environment Fund?

The "fair share" that each Member State is encouraged to contribute to the Environment Fund is represented by the Voluntary Indicative Scale of Contributions (VISC). The VISC was established in 2002 by the seventh special session of the UNEP Governing Council. The aim of the VISC is to broaden the base of contributions and to enhance predictability in the voluntary financing of the Environment Fund. 

Because one size does not fit all, the "fair share" is tailor-made for each country. 

The VISC is based on the UN scale of assessment, but also takes into account other criteria, such as each Member State's economic and social circumstances, previous high levels of contributions etc. Based on these criteria, the VISC proposes the percentage that each Member State is encouraged to contribute to the UNEP's Environment Fund. 

By contributing their fair share, countries are honouring their commitment to global environmental action. By contributing their fair share, countries are in solidarity with their fellow nations, and in solidarity with nature.


Pay your fair share – for people, planet and prosperity.