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Davos: Global climate fund threatens aid to developing world, campaigner warns

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Developing countries will love hearing this, considering how ecstatic they were when the ‘Danish Text’ of the Copenhagen accord leaked, which essentially would have made them wards of the World Bank. And just for good measure, developing countries would be disbarred from using cheap energy sources (such as coal fired plants) to get on their feet. Good job, COP15, now let’s get in there and exploit help them some more.

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Larry Elliot, The Guardian
January 28, 2010

Rich countries are raiding their aid budgets to bankroll a new global fund to help poor countries adapt to climate change, one of the world’s leading development campaign groups warned today.

Jamie Drummond, executive director of the One group co-founded by the rock stars Bono and Bob Geldof, said the west was being “dishonest” about the $30bn (£18bn) of fast-track finance proposed in Copenhagen last month to persuade developing countries to agree a deal on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Drummond said the proposal to spend $10bn a year over the next three years involved no additional money, but was instead being diverted from existing budgets.

The impact, he said, would be to divert funds from health and education spending in Africa to infrastructure projects in Asia and Latin America.

Development promises are under threat. There is double counting going on. The $30bn is not new money and nor is the $100bn promised for 2020 to help poor countries cope with climate change.”

Speaking in Davos, Drummond said One was lobbying world leaders to “come clean” about what they were doing. Similar concerns were expressed earlier this week by Bill Gates, who has used part of his personal fortune to fund health programmes in Africa.

Drummond admitted that it was hard for rich countries to stump up more money during a tough recession, but said the solution was to explore innovative ways of raising finance — including a transaction tax, a levy on aviation travel and selling part of the International Monetary Fund’s gold reserve.

Poor countries, he added, would not be prepared to sign up to a climate change deal unless there was additional money for adaptation and mitigation.

Many countries, including Britain, have pledged to raise aid budgets to 0.7% of GDP, but Drummond said that “we may need to look at new goals and proposals like Sir Nicholas Stern’s proposal for 1%, incorporating both development and climate finance“.

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