March 8, 2010

IMF Weighs In On Raising Climate Change Funds

The International Monetary Fund, an organization that does not normally propose environmental policies, is proposing a plan for the world's governments to work together to raise money needed for climate change research.

IMF's Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn told the Associated Press (AP) they are concerned about how much money is needed and the effect that it will have on the global economy. He said the proposal could help efforts to come to an agreement on climate change later this year.

Strauss-Kahn is suggesting that governments adopt and utilize a quota system, which could bring money faster than other fundraising methods currently used. He only provided a rough outline of the plan, but a paper with full details will be available later this week.

The IMF uses a quota system to raise funds from most of its 185 members. It works based on a country's economic size, with the United States being the largest shareholder.

"We all know that (carbon taxes and other fundraising methods) will take time and we don't have this time. So we need something which looks like an interim solution, which will bridge the gap between now and the time when those carbon taxes will be big enough to solve the problem," Strauss-Kahn told AP.

It has been estimated that $100 billion a year will be needed by 2020 to fund climate change programs, which includes those that help poor nations deal with disaster associated with climate change.

At the Copenhagen Climate Summit in December, nations failed to reach a binding deal, but did agree on a plan to control greenhouse gas emissions which are a cause for the gradual heating of the Earth. Many wealthy countries also made commitments to provide billions of dollars to help poor countries adapt to climate change, a demand that poor nations made.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has forecasted that as many as 250 million Africans may be exposed to water shortages by 2020 and some countries may lose 50 percent of their crops.

More than 190 nations will convene in Cancun, Mexico later this year to attempt to reach an agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which sets emissions targets for industrialized countries and expires in 2012.


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