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U.S. Unveils Climate Fund Proposal for Developing Countries

emissions7The United States has proposed a global climate fund, most likely operated by the World Bank, which would manage billions of dollars to help poor countries address climate change including emissions reductions and adaptation measures, reports the New York Times.

How much money richer countries will contribute to the fund is still unknown, and is part of this week’s climate talks in Copenhagen.

William Pizer, deputy assistant secretary for environment and energy at the U.S. Treasury Department, said in the article that just agreeing on a structure for delivering and accounting for the money would be a major step.

Treasury officials said the fund would leverage both private-sector investments and public funds, and would be one of several financial arrangements to help developing countries access funds for different needs, reports the New York Times.

However, environmental activists are against the involvement of the World Bank, saying that it favors rich nations and funds too much fossil fuel development, reports the New York Times.

It’s estimated that countries will offer between $7 billion and $10 billion for immediate needs in poor countries, with about $1.3 billion from the United States, reports the New York Times. The United States has not said how much it will allocate in the long term, according to the newspaper.

The U.S. plan, which borrows ideas from proposals announced earlier by Mexico and Australia, would be governed by a board comprised equally of net donors and recipients, reports the New York Times.

World Bank chief Robert Zoellick said no one will be able to address climate change unless both the capabilities and needs of developed and developing countries are taken into consideration, reports Google (via AFP).

Zoellick is also urging countries to use energy more efficiently and more renewable sources such as solar, wind and hydropower energy, regardless of the outcome of climate talks in Copenhagen, reports the Winnipeg Free Press.

In a recent interview with Financial Times Zoellick said the expectation for Copenhagen will be a political framework with further directions for a treaty, and the questions will deal primarily with overall greenhouse gas levels and a financing mechanism.

He also said in the article that there is a need to connect development and economic thinking to the larger greenhouse gases issue and people have to realize that climate change is significant for the environment and the economy so it must be looked at as an ongoing process.

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3 thoughts on “U.S. Unveils Climate Fund Proposal for Developing Countries

  1. Here we go, this is it! Redistribution of wealth – that’s the heart of the carbon trading scheme. If we wanted to give our money to poor, underdeveloped countries, we would without the Government making us pay much higher rates for energy. C’mon, the World Bank? Can anybody say ‘corruption’? How many of those billions will go into the pockets and coiffers of dictators who don’t give a hoot about their people? If we are going to give all that money away, shouldn’t it come with a lot of strings? Oh say, we insist it goes directly to purchase food and building materials and not to purchase weapons and fortify a dictator’s power? Wake up America! How have we allowed this to happen to us? We should be ashamed for being so stupid to think those people we have elected have our best interests at heart!

  2. @James – I agree that the World Bank is not great and I would love to see them kept out of this and I also agree that there should be serious strings on the money (I am sure that will be discussed this week at COP15, hopefully with very positive results).

    However, in terms of elected officials having our best interests at heart, I would like to remind you that it is the Bush administration that left us with the economic and environmental disaster we are now facing. Obama is just dealing with the mess that Bush left us.

    We all know the story of Bush and the economy. This recession started in 2007, well before Bush left office, and it hit “disaster” level in Sept. 2008, also while Bush was in office. But also remember, if Bush had started handling the environmental issues with any sense of a reasonable time table (or any time table at all), we would not be having to work so hard to play catch-up right now.

    Frankly, I think Obama is handling Bush’s mess with good policy and swift action. And I actually do believe that is doing everything he can to deal with the short term issues we face (the economy) while leading responsibly on long term issues (health care, climate change).

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