Report finds problems with UN’s climate change initiative

December 3, 2014

A report by The Associate Press uncovered the serious problems surrounding the United Nations efforts to combat climate change through its climate finance initiative.

Among its findings, The Associated Press discovered that about $1 billion in loans that was supposed to be earmarked for poor countries is going toward the construction of coal fired power plants. The money comes from Japan which is using the funds to build three such plants in Indonesia and listed it with the United Nations as climate finance. Japan says these plants burn coal more efficiently and are therefore cleaner than old coal plants.

The more alarming issues is how it was allowed to transpire. According to The Associated Press report, there is no watchdog agency that ensures the money is spent in the most effective way, and no definition of what climate finance is.

Japan, a top contributor of climate finance, denies any wrongdoing and has done nothing illegal — there are no rules against counting such projects as climate finance in the U.N. system.

"There are countries ... that cannot afford to have other methods than coal," Japanese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Takako Ito said. "For these countries, we’d like to provide the best method of reducing carbon dioxide."
The full report can be found at The Associate Press.




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