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Follow the Money
Paris Isn’t Worth a Climate Fund

With only ten days of negotiations left before a final document is set to be drawn up ahead of December’s UN climate conference in Paris, another pesky issue is raising its head: of the $100 billion per year pledged to be raised by developed nations by 2020 to help the offset costs of developing nations, only $10.2 billion has thus far been accumulated, with EU member states pledging around half of that amount. Finance ministers of the G7 are due to meet in Bonn in September to discuss the issue in a “structured form” for the first time. Politico reports:

In the failed climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009, developed nations pledged to come up with $100 billion a year by 2020 to help developing countries fund efforts to cut emissions and strengthen resilience to climate-change risks.

The majority of that money will flow through the Green Climate Fund. So far, however, contributions total a mere $10.2 billion, forcing heads of state from the G7 nations in June to reaffirm their commitment to the goal.

Luxembourg’s General Director of the Ministry of Sustainable Development excused the delay, saying ministers have been “preoccupied with many other urgent issues recently.” Those words will come as cold comfort for the developing world, which is already approaching the negotiating table in Paris with deep reservations. For the world’s poorer countries, concerns are mounting that an international climate treaty might hinder development—particularly galling considering the industrialized world has been chiefly responsible for runaway greenhouse gas emissions over the past century. The annual $100 billion fund was meant to allay those concerns, and was one of the few tangible policies wrung out of the disastrous Copenhagen summit.

So what does it say about the state of climate talks that this pool isn’t even close to being funded? Nothing good. Remember that rich countries—the U.S. chief among them—will have to fork over this $100 billion every year. In today’s political climate it’s hard to imagine Congress willingly signing off on tens of billions of dollars for this even once, let alone annually. This fund was meant to paper over the gap between the first and third worlds, but the cracks in that compromise are already showing. Pity those Paris delegates: their task somehow continues to get harder.

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  • qet

    It would be cheaper just to promise the developing nations a chicken in every pot.

    • JR

      If you send me on all-expense paid trip to Paris, I will promise everyone everything.

      • qet

        Can’t you do that from home, on Skype? You do that, and I’ll go to Paris to make sure everyone got the message.

        • JR

          I see what you did there. And I like it.

      • Andrew Allison

        Yes indeedy, requiring attendees to pay their own way would be a very good test of their commitment to climate change rather than to regular all-expenses paid vacations.

        • f1b0nacc1

          Let me offer a slight modification….hold the conferences in an unairconditioned hotel in Jackson, MS during August. After all, air-conditioning is supposed to be a waste, right?
          Stop sending ‘crats to resorts at our expense.

  • Blackbeard

    Why would Obama need Congress for this? He can refuse to enforce the laws Congress passes and Congress is powerless. He can sign critically important treaty with Iran, call it an “agreement,” and Congress is powerless. He can spend money never appropriated, dare Congress to not fund it and shut the government down, and Congress is powerless.

    Why do we even have a Congress?

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    “Global Warming” is the greatest hoax in history, failure in Paris is therefore a good thing.

    Would someone please explain to these green idiots that warmer is better. Warmer means increased growing seasons and farmable land as during the Medieval warm period when grapes were grown in Moscow to make wine, and Greenland was colonized. Warmer means increased evaporation which means more rain. Warmer means reduced winter heating needs and lower winter mortality. It is much more energy efficient to cool from 80 or 90 degrees down to 72 (8-18 degrees of cooling) than to heat from freezing 32 degrees up to 72 degrees (a 40 degree difference) and temperatures in summer never go much above 100 degrees while subzero temperatures even into the double digits are common in winter (28+ degrees compared to 72+ degrees).

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