Front and center at the UN climate talks in Doha, Qatar will be the “Green Climate Fund.” The fund, which is moving into a new headquarters in South Korea, is designed to transfer massive wealth from the developed to the developing world to fund mitigation and adaptation to climate change.
Mitigation refers to efforts to reduce or absorb green house gas emissions while adaptation refers to efforts to cope with the effects of climate change.
The developed world has promised to pay up for the “ravages” of warming being experienced in Africa, Asia and South America. Yet, data from the UK’s Met Office shows any global warming to have “flat lined” for 16 years and NOAA data (even if you ignore temperature station siting problems) shows only three quarters of a degree Celsius of warming since the 1880s. It is hard to ask an unbiased thinker to accept that the problems of the developing world have been caused by a questionable .74 degrees Celsius of warming, rather than bad government policies marred by corruption and absence of the rule of law.
Should the developed world fork over trillions then, to satisfy computer climate models which have done a terrible job at explaining the present, leaving little reason to trust their ability to predict the future?
The last few UN COP meetings resulted in commitments of $30 billion in “fast start” climate finance, however, developed world nations, reeling from weak economies, have been slow to provide actual cash grants. They often chose instead to weasel out of their commitments by attributing current activities they were undergoing in any event as satisfying their obligations.
Developing nations and climate campaigners intend to use the Doha talks next week to nail down massive new commitments and hope to take control of the funding mechanisms and governance. They hope to double fast start commitments, but in any event intend to make the new Green Climate Fund entity in South Korea independent of oversight from the World Bank or other institutions.
Green Climate Fund meetings have been taking place behind closed doors with little oversight. Once serious funding arrives there is real danger the Fund will deteriorate from its best case scenario — which is a massive waster of funds without measurable benefit, into a massively wasteful UN slush fund.
Climate campaigners and developing nations want the Fund to be financed by direct transfers of taxpayer dollars from developed world economies. They demand this in the name of equity — a way for developed nations to pay for the sin of having undergone the industrial revolution.
The U.S. and other developed nations prefer to finance the Fund more through private finance. The Fund would likely then become a vehicle for further “green investment” exporting the Solyndra model to the developing world. Nonviable projects will be created, produce no benefits, often go bust, but always a politically favored few will grow rich.
Huge numbers are in play. Already $100 billion per year is being called inadequate. $400 billion could be the new number with $1.5 trillion per year being estimated as the combined cost of mitigation and adaptation.
Always follow the money if you want to gain a true understanding of international climate diplomacy. There is no reasonable limit to the amounts that the global warming industry demands. The Green Climate Fund already exists, with trillions of dollars in commitments already agreed to. What remains to be seen is whether the delegates in Doha can transform vague commitments into real and immediate pain for taxpayers. That is their intention.
What is not on the table is the one rational and responsible solution – abolish the Green Climate Fund now, while the paint is still wet on the walls of the Fund’s South Korean offices and this new bureaucracy has not yet taken firm root. The Fund should be stopped now — before the infant grows into the monster it is destined to become.