IMF can finance climate change: George Soros

IMF can finance climate change: George Soros

US-Hungarian businessman George Soros, chairman of Soros Fund Management gives a TV interview during the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen on December 10, 2009. AFP

Soros warned that if the issue was not resolved quickly it could "wreck" the Conference. He said the USD 10-billion-a-year short-term plan is "more than nothing, but not much, it's not sufficient."

His remarks were strikingly similar to Chairman of G77 and China, Lumumba Stanislaus Di-Aping who asked that the International Monetary Fund release USD 200 billion worth of SDR (Special Drawing Rights). It should be made available to deal with the threat of the climate change
"It is possible to substantially increase the amount available to fight global warming in the developing world," Soros said.
Developing countries are labouring under the misapprehension that funding has to come from their national budgets but that is not the case, they have it already, he said. "It is lying idle in their reserves accounts and in the vaults of the IMF." All that is lacking is the political will. Unfortunately the political will be difficult to gather because of the mere fact that it requires Congressional approval in the US, he said.

Soros said that SDR’s from the IMF could make up USD 100 billion to fund climate action but said it would be tough to get the matter through Congress.

Di-Aping also called on the US Congress to sanction USD 200 billion to be given to the poor countries. "You approved billions of dollars in a defence budget…can you not approve USD 200 billion to save the world," he said.
Soros and Di Aping were speaking on the fourth day of negotiations at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference being held in Copenhagen where negotiators from 193 countries have gathered to hammer out a climate deal before the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol ends in 2012.

Next week, world leaders from 100 countries including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, US President Barack Obama and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao- and the talks could end in  a legal treaty or a politically binding commitment- whereas US has shown willingness to reach a political agreement, India has stressed the importance of a legal document.
The nature, scope and objective of such a political agreement is not clear but whatever its contents it is expected to be worked into a legally binding document sometime next year, according to the UN.

The United States has said it is ready to pay its fair share of USD 10 billion (the fast track mechanism came into being at the Commonwealth Summit in November) and the funds are meant to go to poorer of the developing nations not emerging economies.

Noting that emerging economies like India, China and South Africa were benefiting from the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the European Union said here that money for Climate Change action would be aimed at poor countries within the developing countries.

"They are benefiting at the moment from the carbon market. So the question is that is there a need for more public finance for these countries or not," the European delegate said here.
"I think the poorer countries will give you a definite answer to that question," he added.

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