Keep dirty energy out of Green Climate Fund
The UN’s new Green Climate Fund could be used to finance dirty energy including coal and shale gas. The Green Climate Fund’s board, which includes the UK government, meets from 18-21 May in Songdo, Korea, and is expected to agree details of what the fund will finance.
The Green Climate Fund was set up to help poor countries deal with climate change and develop using clean energy. But campaigners fear that unless this week’s meeting explicitly excludes fossil fuels, the fund will be used to subsidise the coal, oil and gas industries that are driving climate change.
There are fears the board could bow to pressure from industry lobbyists and allow the Green Climate Fund to finance coal-fired power stations, as long as they are equipped with carbon capture and storage technology. The effectiveness of this technology is unproven. There are also fears that the fund could support shale gas from fracking, which is being promoted as part of the solution to climate change despite strong evidence to the contrary.
Rights groups are also calling on the fund to introduce strong social and environmental criteria so that other damaging energy projects, such as big hydroelectric dams which displace local populations, are also excluded.
Nearly 300 campaign groups, mainly from developing countries, have urged the fund to explicitly exclude fossil fuels and other harmful forms of energy generation.
Lidy Nacpil, Director of Jubilee South Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development, said:
We are organizations, movements and communities from developing countries whose citizens bear the brunt of the most harmful consequences of climate change. We’ve seen first-hand how international financial institutions include fossil fuel and other harmful energy projects in their climate and energy finance under the flawed logic of ‘lower carbon’ energy and switching to ‘lower emissions’ fuels. Financing any fossil fuels and harmful energy through the Green Climate Fund is unacceptable.
Alex Scrivener, the World Development Movement’s climate campaigner, said today:
We need the Green Climate Fund to help developing countries transition to clean energy, and build their resilience to climate change. Coal, oil and gas have no place in the fund.
The UK government has already promised to stop giving aid money to dirty coal-fired power plants. As a member of the Green Climate Fund’s board, the UK should make sure the fund has strict rules banning dirty energy, so that we can move towards a genuinely fair, clean and sustainable energy system.”
Photo: Coal-fired power stations could receive finance from the Green Climate Fund.