At issue in the latest video from Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) is the UN’s Green Climate Fund, which aims to garner $100 billion from industrial nations ostensibly to bolster efforts to get developing nations to use renewable, non-hydrocarbon energy rather than coal and oil in their development. In practice, as we have seen at UN climate-change conferences, te fund has been treated as an entitlement and even a type of reparation by developing nations from the US and the West. Inhofe, who couldn’t attend this year’s climate conference in Doha, which is just as well, as media around the world has described it as “a farce,” and a “stalemate and failure.” Inhofe instead put together this video, in which he claims that the Obama administration has sent billions of dollars already into the UNGCF and plans to send billions more even while the US struggles with trillion-dollar deficits:
The Tulsa World reported on Inhofe’s statement:
Media reports support Inhofe’s claim that the Green Climate Fund was a leading topic of discussion in Doha. The fund’s stated purpose is to provide capital and incentives for clean energy efforts in underdeveloped countries. It was agreed to in 2009 and officially launched in 2011, with a goal of raising $30 billion by this year and $100 billion a year by 2020.
How much has actually been paid into the fund, though, is unclear, and a Dec. 4 Financial Times story says the initiative may be “strangled at birth” by squabbling over control of how the money is spent and who qualifies as a “developing nation.”
A December 2011 Bloomberg New Energy Finance white paper said the U.S. had pledged $2.4 billion to the fund and actually paid about $1 billion, but Inhofe thinks the figure is much higher.
Why are we putting any money into this at all? These are the kinds of activities that can be afforded by nations with large budget surpluses, not by nations teetering on a default of its bond obligations. In a very real sense, that’s not even our money. Regardless of the virtue of the effort, which in this case is highly questionable if not outright laughable, the US cannot afford to give one billion dollars away to UN slush funds, let along $2.4 billion or even more than that, if Inhofe is correct.
We can’t afford adime of this — especially while the White House proposes to sit on its hands while the sequestration cuts $500 billion from the military over the next ten years, or struggles to reform entitlements. Can the White House look soldiers in the eyes and tell them that their aging weapons systems on which they rely for their lives can’t be upgraded while they fund endless parties in Copenhagen and Doha, and send cash to countries because they argue we owe them for the ills which they have entirely visited upon themselves? Can the administration tell seniors and the disabled that their benefits have to be trimmed while billions go to the UN for a slush fund that keeps corrupt bureaucrats in power in Turtle Bay and end up in the hands of petty autocrats and dictators?
Let’s hope that the FT is right, and that the UNGCF has been “strangled at birth” — and it’s instructive to seewhy:
In a sign of the simmering antagonism overshadowing the negotiations in the Qatari capital of Doha, a group of 17 countries led by China and India have told the conference that the UN should be able to vet any investment made by the new green climate fund.
Such a move would be untenable for the private sector investors the fund is supposed to encourage, say the heads of two international investment groups focused on climate change.
“It would create too much uncertainty and stop people investing,” said Stephanie Pfeifer of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, which represents many of Europe’s biggest pension funds and asset managers.
“It would be like a government setting up an investment vehicle and having every investment it makes go back to the parliament,” said Nathan Fabian of the Investor Group on Climate Change in Australia and New Zealand.
“If one of the objectives of the green climate fund is to attract private sector investment, this would achieve the opposite,” he said. “It would mean the fund would be strangled at birth.”
It’s not about climate change. It’s about the control of capital. That’s been the case all along.