Climate debt news
US plays dirty with set up of the new Green Climate Fund
WDM campaigners protest against climate loans and the World Bank's involvement in climate finance
Last month, the transitional committee, tasked with designing the new UN Green Climate Fund, met in South Africa. This was set to be the meeting of the committee where a final proposal was to due be agreed before being sent for approval by the UN climate summit in Durban.
However, the US (followed by Saudi Arabia) refused to consent to the proposed document, leaving the whole process in a mess. Many countries still had reservations about the final proposals but were willing to put them aside to reach consensus.
But the US held out and would not support the document on range of issues. It vetoed the process that would choose which country would host the new fund, demanded that developing countries provide climate finance and wanted more to go to the private sector.
The proposals will now be sent to the UN summit but without the consent of the committee. It is clear that the US refused to agree because it believes that the fund will be a key bargaining chip at the talks and wants to keep it on the table. This means that rather than a final set of proposals being approved, the text, which countries have been working on all year, is likely to have to be renegotiated throughout Durban. This could be disastrous for the negotiations.
There is some light. While many countries in the global south expressed clear frustration about the process being held up, others felt that a space has been opened to to take out some of the negative aspects of the proposal.
For example, an African group welcomed the news as they weren't happy with the idea that there would be a part of the fund that would be dedicated to private sector investment. But, given the experience of rich country bullying and the pushing of corporate interests at past climate talks, it is hard to hold out hope that things can be improved at Durban.
The representative from Germany pointed out that these developments makes it highly unlikely that there will be a new climate fund developed for 2012. This despite that fact that people across the global south are desperately in need of funds to enable them to cope with impacts of climate change and for the transition to cleaner energy provision.
We will be working hard to make sure that the UK government doesn’t oppose proposals a fair Green Climate Fund in Durban. Sign up below to get the latest updates on our campaign, and look out for an action to email your MP soon.
Kirsty is senior campaigns officer at WDM. She campaigns to keep the World Bank out of climate finance and against loans for climate change.