The Green Climate Fund, which is supposed to help mobilize as much as $100 billion a year to lower global greenhouse gases, is seeking a broad blanket of U.N.-style immunity that would shield its operations from any kind of legal process, including civil and criminal prosecution, in the countries where it operates. There’s just one problem: it is not part of the United Nations.
It turns out that the Green Climate Fund is not actually a part of the U.N., and so does not enjoy the immunity that the U.N. and its agencies currently enjoy, and this will require action by the U.S. government. I suppose if I had some confidence that the GCF was going to do good things, like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), this wouldn't make me so nervous. But tell me, does the prospect of an organization spending $100 billion a year sound like it might be something that could lead to corruption or abuse? Or is that just sounding paranoid?
Whether the fund, which was formally created at a U.N. climate conference in Durban, South Africa last December, will get all the money it wants to spend is open to question in an era of economic slowdown and fiscal austerity. Its spending goal comes atop some $30 billion in “fast start-up” money that has been pledged by U.N. member states to such climate change activities.