UN climate fund sets November goal to receive its first round of cash pledges

The U.N. funding vehicle for helping developing nations tackle climate change has set a November goal to receive its first round of cash pledges.

The Green Climate Fund was set up to help channel at least $100 billion a year by 2020 from governments and the private sector. Getting money flowing towards schemes such as building solar power plants or deploying flood management systems is seen as crucial to getting over 130 developing nations to sign a U.N. climate pact in late 2015.

However, rich nations such as those in the European Union, Japan and the United States had been reluctant to donate without clear rules to ensure the cash would be spent wisely.

Environmental campaigners and investor groups said this week’s meeting put the fund on track to receive money ahead of December’s U.N. climate talks in Lima, Peru and to start deploying cash by early next year.

The board, drawn equally from nations classed as developed and developing, agreed basic principles on how the fund will operate, as well as who could donate and apply for the cash. But it ducked thornier issues such as whether wealthier nations such as China could apply, if money could be spent on clean coal technology or gas-fired power plants, and the role of multilateral financial institutions such as the World Bank.

In a major concern for campaigners and some developing nations, the board also failed to set an overall target for the amount to be pledged by November.

The U.N.’s climate chief Christiana Figueres said the initial funding should be at least $10 billion and called on governments to put forward a pipeline of international joint projects that the fund could finance.