Plan to Enrich Corporations with Climate Aid for Poor Thwarted... For Now

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Common Dreams

Plan to Enrich Corporations with Climate Aid for Poor Thwarted... For Now

US-led group sought to treat the UN's Global Climate Fund like a bank, speculating with climate funds

by
Lauren McCauley, staff writer

The United States and a coalition of rich nations were rejected—at least for the time being—in an attempt to funnel aid money directly to international corporations, bypassing the governments of the countries necessitating the aid.

According to papers seen by the Guardian newspaper, following a United Nations' board meeting regarding the fledgling Green Climate Fund, the 24-person board voted down a proposal by the US, United Kingdom and Australia for the GCF to bypass the governments of poor, host countries by directly awarding aid funds to international companies.

"They also lobbied hard for the fund to be able to act like an autonomous bank, taking risks, guaranteeing loans, having its own governing body and even being able to speculate with climate funds," reports the Guardian.

Instead, the board ruled to allow a "powerful private sector advisory group and an investment committee," which, the reporting adds, "suggests that rich countries will continue to try to control the funds."

Developing nations have lobbied the United Nations for the GCF aid money to be provided in the form of grants and not loans, and to the public rather than the private sector.

"We want to make sure the GCF does not become an institution dominated by multinational corporations and Wall Street investors that would leave critical, yet unprofitable, priorities by the wayside," said Karen Orenstein, of Friends of the Earth.

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