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What's New - March 2009

posted 31 Mar 2009, 03:51 by Izabel Camargo   [ updated 31 Mar 2009, 04:34 ]

US omnibus bill: implications for the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) and the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF).

The US House of Representatives approved a spending bill on 25 Feb 2009 for the Fiscal Year 2009. Regarding international climate financing, the bill states that the US government will channel US$ 100 million to USAID for programs and activities that reduce global warming. In addition, it shall donate US$ 10 million to the Least Developed Countries Fund, if the Global Environment Facility establishes more transparent mechanisms for project funding, reporting and local involvement. More information can be found on the resources page.

a. Implications for the Clean Technology Fund (CTF)

This decision shows that the US Congress has drawn back from the original pledge that the Bush administration had requested for the CTF because several lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), opposed the Bank's plan to allow some efficient coal-fired power plants to be considered "clean" (for information on the World Bank’s memo describing conditions under which it would use the CTF to finance coal and gas projects, see: CTF Criteria for Financing Low Carbon Opportunities in Coal and Gas Power Investments). The document states that coal power stations may receive CTF financing if they meet or surpass a certain level of efficiency - meaning they must emit less than 0.795 tonnes of carbon dioxide for every megawatt hour of power produced. The World Bank's own data shows that standard coal power stations built in rich nations emit 0.8 tonnes of CO2 per MWh.
It is unclear what the move from Congress will mean for the other nations that are beginning to make good on funding pledges to the CTF.

b. Implications for Least Developed Countries Fund

If the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) receives the US$ 10 million donation from the United States, it will increase its pledged sum from 172.4 million to 182.4 million. Although the amount is relatively small, it demonstrates a commitment from the new US Administration to the Least Developed Countries and their adaptation efforts. However, the bill states that this amount will only be donated “if the Global Environment Facility makes publicly available on its website an annual report detailing the criteria used to determine which programs and activities receive funds, the manner in which such programs and activities meet such criteria, the extent of local involvement in such programs and activities, the amount of funds provided, and the results achieved”.

Outcomes of the Trust Fund Committee Meetings of the World Bank Climate Investment Funds (CIFs)

The World Bank Climate Investment Funds held Trust Fund Committee Meetings on January 27-30 2009. Significant movements were made at these meetings. The Trust Fund Committee approved a proposal for civil society representatives to observe meetings of the Trust Fund Committee.
Bangladesh, Bolivia, Cambodia, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Tajikistan and Zambia have been invited to participate in the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR) which will provide about US$500 million for scaled up action and transformational change in integrating climate resilience in national development planning.  The PPCR is part of the CIF’s Strategic Climate Fund.

The Forest Investment Program (FIP) and Scaling Up Renewable Energy Program (SREP), also part of the CIF’s Strategic Climate Fund, were also discussed. Following the recommendations of the first FIP design meeting in October 2008, a smaller multi-stakeholder Working Group co-chaired by Norway and Ghana met early in January to further consolidate views on the FIP's design and plan the next design meeting.  Climatefundsupdate will report the outcomes of the design meeting shortly.

The Scaling Up Renewable Energy Program is seeking a minimum of US$250 million to launch the program, with the Netherlands, UK and Switzerland having made commitments worth over US$100 million. The SCF Trust Fund Committee requested that a smaller multi-stakeholder working group be convened on March 9-10 to prepare a draft design document for the new program.

The CIF Clean Technology Fund (CTF) also made progress at the CIF Trust Fund Committee meetings. It was decided that four civil society positions will be created to observe the CTF Trust Fund Committee meetings, and will include local groups, indigenous people, and research/technical NGOs. Two private sector positions will be established as observers. The CTF Committee announced criteria for financing low-carbon opportunities in coal and gas power investments, and updates on funding commitments were also announced at the meetings.

Adaptation Fund Board meeting outcomes

The Adaptation Fund Board has met for the fifth time in Bonn, Germany, on March 24-27, 2009. Important decisions were expected from this meeting, in particular how the CERs that are already designated to the Adaptation Fund will be monetized; and when the fund will start to disburse resources, as it was previously announced that this would occur on the first quarter of 2009. 
Climatefundsupdate will report the outcomes of this meeting at the Adaptation Fund description page once the meeting report is available.

UN-REDD update on stakeholder consultation

The section ‘Consultations with non-government stakeholders’ from the UN-REDD fund description has been updated with detailed information on the consultation meetings and stakeholder dialogues undertaken by the UNDP, on behalf of the UN-REDD Programme. For full information on these meetings, please click here.

Information on the Application Criteria for the International Climate Initiative

The International Climate Initiative (ICI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, released new funding information on 4 March 2009, including the documents required for submitting a project proposal. The information can be found at the following website:

New fund: the Initiative for Climate and Environmental Protection (IKLU)

Climatefundsupdate has decided to include another fund to its list: the Initiative for Climate and Environmental Protection (IKLU), from the German Credit Agency for Reconstruction – Banking Group (KfW Entwicklungsbank) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The page on the IKLU will be available soon.