Tokyo / Kobe City: The World Bank will raise at least $5.5 billion (Rs23,485 crore) with the US, the UK and Japan this year for climate change funds that will help poor nations use clean technology and tackle global warming, its vice-president said.
The bank will agree to set up the funds at its July board meeting and raise the money by autumn, Katherine Sierra said in an interview in the Japanese city of Kobe where she is attending a meeting of the Group of Eight (G-8) environment ministers.
“We are hoping that initially the clean technology fund may begin with $5 billion and the other one may be $500 million for climate resilience,” Sierra said. A further announcement may be made at the G-8 summit in July, she said.
The three-day meeting in Kobe, a prelude to the summit in Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, is part of efforts to develop a successor to the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, which expires in 2012. Japan wants the focus of the G-8 summit to be on crafting a new accord.
Raising the global funds “clearly is the important first step, but it isn’t enough,” said Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. “This is an initial initiative for the short term with a very clear indication that those funds will stop functioning in 2012 when a new climate change regime comes into place.”
Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, South Korea, South Africa and Antigua and Barbuda are also taking part in the Kobe meeting.
The bank announced on 23 May that representatives of 40 developing and industrialized countries had agreed to create the two international investment funds.
They will provide financing for developing countries to utilize clean technologies and for mitigating the impact of climate change.
“Furthering assistance to developing countries, Japan established the Cool Earth Partnership, pledging financial support amounting to the scale of $10 billion over the next five years,” environment minister Ichiro Kamoshita said on Sunday in Kobe. “Japan, together with the US and the UK, is soliciting other donors to join in establishing an additional multilateral fund.”
The bank and the three nations want to raise a total of $10 billion over three years. Daniel Price, an adviser on international economic affairs to US President George W. Bush, said in March that $10 billion is not enough to meet the costs of developing new technology.
On Saturday, Kamoshita and US Environment Protection Agency administrator Stephen Johnson agreed to call on other G-8 nations to back the funds.
The 1997 Kyoto Protocol requires its 37 signatory nations to cut emissions by a combined 5.2% from 1990 levels by 2012. China and the US, the two biggest emitters, aren’t subject to any emissions targets. The US rejected Kyoto as being unfair because it set no emission cuts for developing nations.
“Government assistance has its limitations,” Kamoshita said. “In order to upscale climate change actions in developing countries, private investments are indispensable.”