REPORT: UN Climate Fund Spent Millions On Questionable Projects

REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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The United Nations organization created to fund green energy projects in poor countries has spent millions of dollars on questionable projects that don’t seem to line up with its core mission.

Former President Barack Obama pledged $3 billion to the UN’s Green Climate Fund (GCF), but only ended up sending $1 billion by the end of his second term amid resistance from a Republican-controlled Congress.

The GCF has handed out $2.6 billion for 54 projects, but only one-tenth of funding has gone towards projects owned and operated by poor countries. Current and former fund board members have also raised numerous concerns over many projects the GCF funded, The New York Times reported.

NYT reported the GCF funded a slew of projects “despite concerns raised by current and former observers on the fund’s board over whether officials had done due diligence on projects.”

President Donald Trump pledged to cut funding for UN global warming programs on the campaign trail, including the GCF. Trump’s budget proposal called for zeroing out GCF funding. Congress blocked any more funding from going to the GCF and other international climate programs.

The news comes as UN delegates meet in Bonn, Germany, to nail down the details of the Paris climate accord and, of course, haggle over funding for green energy programs in poor countries.

GCF board observers “asked why the fund’s finances, set up to back locally owned projects that reach the most vulnerable communities,” NYT reported. So far, the GCF has mobilized $10 billion in funding from taxpayers from different wealthy countries.

One project observers were concerned about was a $265 million deal with a Luxembourg-based investment fund to finance green energy projects in 30 countries without actually disclosing what projects would be funded.

Board members were also concerned about a $9 million loan to build green energy in rural Mongolia, which some worried would be used to power the region’s coal mining industry. Observers also worried about a $25 million to build solar panels in Africa — the project is being administered from Mauritius, which is a tax haven.

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