17 Apr DEVELOPING COUNTRIES CALL UN GREEN CLIMATE FUND ‘A LAUGHING STOCK’
Tensions between rich and poor countries were running high at a recent meeting of the Green Climate Fund board, the UN’s flagship climate finance initiative Megan Darby at Climate Home reports.
Projects worth a total of $755m were approved by the Fund’s board, including $265m for renewable energy projects across the developing world and a controversial refurbishment of a soviet-era hydropower dam in Tajikistan. But delegates could not agree on a request for $100 million to support farmers and pastoralists in Ethiopia to manage the impact of increasing droughts and unpredictable rainfall caused by rising global temperatures. The US, Canada and Sweden were among the countries opposed to the project, while African delegates argued for it to be kept on the table, Megan Darby reports.
The opposing countries questioned whether the programme was actually focused on climate change adaptation, rather than general development. This lead a board member from the DRC to warn that the Green Climate Fund’s indecision is diminishing its credibility among recipient countries, with many saying the GCF board is “a laughing stock” according to the board member.
The GCF was established with the aim to help bring about a “paradigm shift” in the global response to climate change, by supporting sustainable projects in developing countries. The funds are equally split between investments in low carbon development and projects which support the adaptation to the impacts of climate change. A large portion of the adaptation funds are earmarked for the most vulnerable countries, a category which includes Ethiopia according to Megan Darby.