Developed countries nominated the US Treasury’s Victoria Gunderson to jointly lead the UN flagship climate fund’s deliberations in 2023. These appointments are typically approved without discussion. On behalf of African board members, Kenyan environment official Pacifica Ogola raised an official objection. The US has contributed just $1 billion to the fund in its 12-year history, compared to $9bn from EU countries and $3bn from Japan. A further $2bn pledged under former president Barack Obama was never delivered. His successors Donald Trump and Joe Biden have not paid in a cent. Ogola stressed, in a letter dated 16 January, rich countries’ responsibility to inject money into the GCF and called for better enforcement of commitments. Approving Gunderson’s role must not “normalise the situation” of non-payers holding sway over decisions, she argued.
The COP27 meet is underway at Sharm el-Sheikh. Although the Ukraine War and mid-term elections in the United States shifted our immediate focus away from the battle against global warming, it remains a central concern of our epoch. Reports indicate we are not only failing to meet climate change goals but falling short of the targets by a large margin. Worse, methane greenhouse gas emissions have grown far faster than we knew, and pose as much of a climate change threat as carbon dioxide. Methane lasts for a shorter time in the atmosphere, but seen over a 100-year period, it is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. The result is we are almost certain to fail in our target to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees centigrade.
Dozens of protesters demonstrated outside the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington DC on Thursday (Oct 13), expressing opposition to funding of fossil fuels and demanding urgent action to tackle climate change. Some of the activists gathered on bicycles and called for support for nations affected by climate change. They carried posters that said "World Bank of climate chaos", "stop funding fossil fuel", "People over profit" and "actions speak louder than words".