U.S. Unveils Climate Fund Proposal for Developing Countries

by | Dec 7, 2009

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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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