Green Climate Fund seeks big bucks


One… hundred… billion dollars.

Cue an outburst of Dr Evil-like pinky chewing in the offices of the new Green Climate Fund (GCF), just opened in South Korea.

While the Austin Powers movie character threatened to destroy a major city every hour unless he was paid a large sum, the trustees of the GCF say that unless they get the aforementioned amount by 2020, developing countries won't be able to adapt to the worst impacts of climate change.

So far, they've barely got enough readies to keep the lights on in their shiny new Songdo headquarters.

Back at the ill-fated end-of-the-world-party that was the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009, the rich countries promised to deliver the 100 billion sum by 2020.

As a measure of good faith they said they would provide $10bn a year in fast-track finance, for three years, from 2011.

But so far, the fast-track seems to be made of molasses.

According to the Overseas Development Institute, new climate money in 2013 has dropped by more than two thirds since 2012.

Right now there is nothing but old buttons in the pot for 2014 - and how that translates into 100 billon by 2020 remains unclear.

Back to Dr Evil.

Dr Evil, as portrayed by Mike Myers $100bn was also Dr Evil's desired sum of money

In Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, the US President bursts out laughing at the demand for $100bn telling the would-be blackmailer that, in 1969, that amount of money doesn't even exist.

"That's like saying," the President goes on, "I want a kajillion, bajillion dollars."

Perhaps that's what the GCF should now ask for?

At the recent Warsaw conference of the parties, the wealthier governments refused to go along with an intermediate target of raising $70bn by 2016.

And the language in the final communiqué wins a global prize for vagueness.

"Calls for ambitious and timely contributions by developed countries to enable an effective operationalization, including for readiness and preparatory support of the Green Climate Fund that reflects the needs and challenges of developing countries in addressing climate change in the context of preparing, by the twentieth session of the Conference of the Parties (December 2014), the initial resource mobilization process described in paragraph 12 above," it reads.

All the verbiage ended with a promise to bring some sort of financial figure to the table by the end of next year.

Richer countries were bluntly saying that the global recession had, for now, put paid to major outflows of public money for adaptation.

Again and again in Warsaw, ministers made the point that the rivers of cash would have to be private.

UN climate chief Christiana Figueres picked up on this theme at the opening of the new GCF headquarters in South Korea, as she highlighted the scale of the challenge facing developing nations.

"This is not only changing the tires on a moving car, it is the equivalent of learning to drive the world's fastest car, which is urgently needed but is still under development by the engineers, attempting to drive down a twisting and winding road and trying to set a speed record all at the same time," she said.

The one benefit of the global recession, said Ms Figueres, was that it had led to a global savings glut.

And still flogging the motoring metaphor for all it was worth, she said the GCF could be the GPS that "steers the vehicle of private capital".

So far, the negotiating countries have at least managed to avoid a car crash on finance. But unless the GCF gets significant contributions in the next 24 months, there won't be a global deal in Paris in 2015.

I'd bet $100bn on that.

Follow Matt on Twitter.

Matt McGrath Article written by Matt McGrath Matt McGrath Environment correspondent

Climate summit advances towards Paris deal

Despite the absence of India and Australia, a majority of prime ministers and presidents came to the climate summit in New York with pledges of action.

Read full article


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    The BBC pension fund lobbies European politicians to manipulate the EU Emissions Trading Scheme to prevent the price of the non-existent product from falling through the floor: last paragraph on page 8

    Is the BBC hoping to profit from the Green Climate Fund?

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    Savers should not be blamed for saving the money they have earned. Central banks are to blame and should be held accountable for printing money, manipulating their currencies and destabilizing the global economy.

    The paper money that the central banks have created has played a leading role in bringing the world economy to the brink of catastrophe.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Fund for what ?
    Biggest con job of Science in history
    Follow Tony Abbots Govt in Austrailia, thats guys got a backbone, which is unusual for politicians
    Strange that nothing is ever reported on any main media outlets about Austrailia dismantling all of their Labour / Green Party created Climate Change infastructure once & for all.
    Total silence........

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    100 billion in whose pockets? Just like all aid given, it will be shared between parties and little will be spent on the actual job of helping anyone. When do we see 1 receipt? Never. Scam after scam after scam. What an evil corrupt World Government we have to endure. Time for Lazy Elite's to go and work for a living instead of scrounging of the the people.


Page 11 of 11



  • PlanesTest of nerve

    WW1 fighter pilots who navigated using a school atlas

  • Pauline Borghese What the butler saw

    Scandalous tales from the British embassy in Paris

  • A baby holds an adult's fingerSmall Data

    The time when the average age of death was zero

  • League of LegendsBattle for glory

    On the ground at League of Legends World Championship's final

  • Vinyl record pressing in AustraliaVinyl vibe

    Getting into the groove with Australia's last record maker

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.