Australia puts brakes on millions for global climate fund ‘in crisis’

September 29, 2018

Australia will freeze its level of funding for a United Nations’ Green Climate Fund that stalled after giving millions of dollars to replace cooking stoves in Bangladesh and sponsoring “gender responsive” drinking water projects in Ethiopia.

Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi has been calling for Australia to withdraw from the Paris Climate pact which had mandated the fund which is now suffering a “crisis of confidence” and is unable to function.

The Weekend Australian reports, the US has already pulled $US2 billion of its promised $US3 billion contribution but Australia is under pressure to contribute hundreds of millions of dollars more. 

Since 2015, Australia has given $200 million dollars to the fund but Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said yesterday: “Australia will not be increasing our commitment.”

The UNited Nations body, this week demanded an extra $400 million from Australia in second-round funding.

Former GCF board member Jacob Waslander (pictured) has written a scathing critique of the fund’s operation. “Rather than a dynamic global centre for climate finance, the GCF board has been mired by ineffective decision-making in an atmosphere of distrust,” Mr Waslander said.

“After five years of operation, the GCF — the world’s biggest multilateral climate fund — faces a crisis of confidence … Representatives from developed and developing countries, the private sector and non-governmental organisations are deeply concerned about the effectiveness and efficiency of the fund’s governance, and particularly about how its board functions.”

Senator Bernardi has told 2GB's Michael McLaren the United Nations is a very strange and secretive place indeed and isn’t working in Australia’s interests.

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