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Keep dirty energy out of Green Climate Fund, demand activists and community groups

Posted May. 16, 2014 / Posted by: Adam Russell

A coalition of nearly 300 civil society organizations mainly from developing countries are raising alarms that the Green Climate Fund could be used to finance projects that are just a little less dirty than "business as usual," including fossil fuels, dams, nuclear energy and biomass, among others. These citizens groups represent communities on the frontline of climate change -- the people that the fund is meant to support.

From May 18 to May 21, 2014, the 24 members of the board of the Green Climate Fund will meet at its headquarters in Songdo, South Korea. They are expected to complete final steps to declare the fund operational -- a moment long-anticipated by governments and civil society in both developed and developing countries.

Lidy Nacpil, director of Jubilee South Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development -- which joined the citizen groups in sending a letter to GCF board members raising their concerns -- said, “We are organizations, movements and communities from developing countries whose citizens bear the brunt of the most harmful consequences of climate change.”

Nacpil, who is in Songdo for the board meeting, added, “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.”

Groups in the United States, led by the Institute for Policy Studies, International Rivers and Friends of the Earth U.S., have joined their effort. These U.S. groups are reaching out to United States representatives on the Green Climate Fund’s board, and are urging them to keep dirty energy out of the Green Climate Fund.

Janet Redman, director of the Institute for Policy Studies’ Climate Policy Program, also in Songdo, noted that, “195 countries came together to create the Green Climate Fund in order to help finance the transition in developing countries from dirty energy development to clean energy, climate-resilient economies.”

Redman added, “Common sense says that financing any fossil fuels or harmful energy through the Green Climate Fund is totally inconsistent with what climate scientists say we need to do to avoid runaway climate change. This fund is so important precisely because it’s meant to support a paradigm shift to sustainable development.”

Zachary Hurwitz, Global Standards coordinator at International Rivers pointed out, “There’s nothing -- yet -- in the Fund’s rules to stop it from financing false solutions like ‘clean’ coal, natural gas fracking, destructive dams or even nuclear power in the name of ‘low-emissions’ energy. We need to make sure there is -- and we need the U.S. to be a champion.”

Hurwitz added, “President Obama has already promised to wind down support for dirty coal projects overseas. And Congress recently limited support for the types of destructive hydropower dams that often displace communities and decimate whole ecosystems. Saying no to harmful energy in the Green Climate Fund is a logical next step for the United States.”

Karen Orenstein with Friends of the Earth U.S. said, “For the sake of our families, our communities and our planet, we have to keep the Green Climate Fund clean.”

Contacts:
Janet Redman, Institute for Policy Studies, janet@ips-dc.org, +1-202-787-5215
Lidy Nacpil, Jubilee South Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development, lnacpil@gmail.com, +63-917-880-410
Zachary Hurwitz, International Rivers zachary@internationalrivers.org, +1-510-848-1155 x313
Karen Orenstein, Friends of the Earth U.S., korenstein@foe.org, +1-202-222-0717

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