World divided on green fund
Namibia, together with other African countries has placed emphasis on the need to launch the Green Climate Fund as it would assist developing countries in dealing with the impact of climate change. Environment Minister, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah re-iterated the need for such a fund recently at the launch of the national policy on climate change.
She said the fund would assist in adapting to and mitigating climate change. However, the United States and Saudi Arabia have reportedly found some aspects of the fund “problematic”. The United States’ position on the fund is that there should be more clarity on issues and how the funds should be rolled out, while Saudi Arabia is concerned about compensation for oil-producing countries for revenue lost due to climate change actions.
“One of the essential things Durban should achieve is for this fund to be made operational – that means agreeing how the fund works based on the recommendations of a committee of experts that has been working all year on developing the architecture of the fund.
“Although there are things in the recommendations that are far from perfect – including the absence of a specific stream of funding for forest protection – the most important thing is that the fund gets up and running,” said Greenpeace, a non-governmental environmental organisation which lobbies against environmental concerns such as global warming, overfishing and deforestation, in a statement.
The organisation expressed concern that as negotiations were reopened, the Climate Fund will not be signed off.
“That would mean yet more delay in money flowing to people who need it on the ground while leaving in place a roadblock to a new comprehensive climate deal,” Greenpeace said.
The fund was first suggested at the 2009 Copenhagen climate summit and is aimed at assisting developing countries to fight climate change. The world’s richest countries pledged to give US$100 billion annually by 2020 to help poorer countries reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from energy production and adapt to effects of global warming such as rising sea levels.
Nandi-Ndaitwah last week expressed the wish that member countries will increase their level of commitment to a second period of the Kyoto Protocol at the ongoing 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to further reduce their emission by 40% below the 1990 levels in order to stabilise global average temperature well below 2 degrees Celsius.
“It is acknowledged that Africa, as a whole, has contributed least to greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, but also faces some of the worst consequences and generally has the least capacity to cope with climate change impacts. Namibia is extremely vulnerable and exposed to the impacts of climate change due to our geographical location, socio-economic and environmental context,” she said.