Center for Clean Air Policy’s Ned Helme Comments on Environmental Milestone

5.21.14

Ned Helme, president of the Center for Clean Air Policy, issued the following statement after the board of United Nations Green Climate Fund (GCF) today agreed on criteria for choosing among programs in developing countries that would reduce carbon pollution and also promote economic development.

“For the first time, international partnerships between developing and developed countries and the private sector will receive international financial help based on their ability to transform national policies and catalyze investment in climate-friendly new technologies and policies. This is nothing short of a milestone.

“Today’s agreement on the consensus package of eight key design elements for the new international fund opens the door for developed nations, wealthy developing nations and other donors to make pledges to capitalize the GCF later this year. What makes this agreement unique is the fact that aid will be based on a truly competitive process that seeks ‘win-win’ programs that provide developing countries with health and development benefits while moving away from a heavy reliance on fossil fuel-based development. These programs will be key to addressing the grave threat of climate change described in recent scientific studies.

“The new GCF design is both economically and politically savvy, ensuring that the international investments catalyze private sector investment and offer benefits that can enjoy sustained political support in developing countries when the initial aid is gone.”

CCAP is a Washington-based think tank that has pioneered some of the first real-world examples in Latin America of what these partnerships can be. The so-called Germany – UK NAMA Facility, a new bilateral aid program, selected Colombia and CCAP’s path breaking transit-oriented development (TOD) program last November as one of the first five such partnership efforts in the world. It is a potential model for the new GCF program. The TOD program targets development efforts around transit stations to reduce car use and create vibrant communities.

Financing the GCF is considered the first key step toward agreement on a new climate protection treaty slated for final negotiation in Paris at the end of 2015.