Poorer nations starved of green cash

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DEVELOPING countries face falling off a “climate 
finance cliff” because rich nations are failing to deliver promised money to cope with global warming, Oxfam warned last night.

The aid agency also said much of the first US$30 billion (£19bn) tranche of funding given to poor countries to develop cleanly and deal with the impacts of climate change was not new money, or was delivered as loans they had to pay back.

In chaotic United Nations climate talks in 2009, developed countries pledged that $100bn a year would be channelled to poor nations by 2020 to reduce their emissions and help them adapt to climate change. They also pledged $30bn as “fast-start finance” to help poor countries over three years to 2012. But ahead of the latest round of UN climate talks in Doha, Qatar, this week, Oxfam warned the fast-start finance period is ending and the Green Climate Fund set up to channel the billions needed in the coming years is empty.

The charity has raised fears that funding will be scaled down, just when it needs to be scaled up in the face of more extreme weather.

New research published by Oxfam on the fast-start finance also suggests that the money did not meet promises made in Copenhagen that it would be “new and additional”.

According to the research, only a third of the money was new, with the rest previously announced before the 2009 conference, and less than a quarter (24 per cent) was in addition to existing aid promises.