Friday, 30 March 2012

EU turf fighting could - hopefully - delay the launch of the UN Green Climate Fund

What´s new about the United Nations´ Green Climate Fund (GCF),  which is supposed to hand out billions of taxpayers´ money to (often kleptocratic) governments in Africa and elsewhere?

The flow of the free money should begin already next year, but now it seems less certain that it will actually happen: The GCF bank accounts are still  more or less empty, according to UN climate chief Christiana Figueres: 

Figueres said earlier this month that governments had not put forward specific numbers yet and those that will contribute to the fund's startup costs this year are identifying sources of finance and waiting for the board to be constituted.

And as always, when UN and EU representatives and diplomats are planning how to waste taxpayers´ money on some new (mostly useless) international project, the process begins with fierce turf fighting about who is going to get the seats and (highly paid) jobs in the new international bureaucracy created for the purpose:

European Union ambassadors were due to meet on Wednesday in an effort to settle a dispute over the allocation of seats to member states on the United Nations´ Green Climate Fund (GCF) board, sources close to the matter said.

U.N. climate talks in Durban last year agreed on the design of the fund, which is aimed at channeling up to $100 billion a year to help developing countries adapt to climate change.

Regional groups of countries are deciding which nations will represent them on the governing board of the fund, which will have 12 seats for developing countries and 12 for developed countries. There will also be 24 seats that will alternate among members.

Any delays in the board's organization could slow the process towards the fund's launch, which is expected in 2013.
"The key contentious issue is whether the EU Commission should have a seat or not," one source said, under condition of anonymity.

"Some member states, like the UK, Germany and France, believe they should have one seat each and that the Commission has no right to a chair on the GCF, saying it is not a legal entity internationally to be able to do so."

Other member states favor all seats being shared.

The EU Commission was not immediately available to comment.

The EU has until March 31 to put forward its proposal on seat allocation to the Green Climate Fund but could miss this deadline if the matter is not resolved.

"The EU risks not being ready with a joint nomination and risks countries putting themselves forward to the U.N. separately after the deadline," the source said.

However, the fund is still an empty shell. U.N. climate talks last year did not manage to make solid progress on sources of finance. Out of the EU countries, Denmark has announced an intention to pledge around 13.2 million euros ($17.6 million).

Read the entire article here

In the case of the Green Climate Fund the usual diplomatic turf fighting could actually be a blessing in disguise, if it would lead to a delay of this useless and costly UN project. The world does not need yet another huge UN bureaucracy to deal with a non-existent problem. 

No comments: