The Global Environment Facility Assembly Meets in Cape Town

The Third GEF Assembly took place from the 29th to the 30th of August. From The Third GEF Assembly Bulletin,

The GEF is funded by donor nations, who commit money every four years through a process known as GEF replenishment. The GEF Trust Fund was replenished three times with US$2 billion in 1994, US$2.75 billion in 1998, and with approximately US$3 billion in 2002. Negotiations on the fourth replenishment of the GEF (GEF-4) began in June 2005. Since its establishment, the GEF has allocated over US$6 billion for more than 1,800 projects in 140 developing countries and countries with economies in transition.

The GEF provides grants and concessional funds to complement traditional development assistance by covering the additional or “agreed incremental costs” incurred when a national, regional or global development project also targets global environmental objectives. GEF projects are managed by three implementing agencies: the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Bank, with the latter also serving as the GEF Trustee. Seven other international organizations, known as GEF executing agencies, contribute to the management and delivery of GEF projects…

GEF CEO/Chair Barbut announced that during the morning session, the GEF Council endorsed the fourth replenishment of the GEF at US$3.13 billion. She said climate change is the most pressing global issue and should be tackled at all levels (emphases added).

There are two real problems here.

First, the incremental approach does nothing for the preservation of existing populations of endangered species.

Second, climate change is not the most pressing global issue. It is not at all clear that spending money on mitigating climate change is a good investment.

Assuming that we took action against climate change now, and assuming that that action would be effective, it would still be at least decades before it would have any affects because of inertia in the climate system.

For some people, the battle over climate change trumps everything else. Whether critically endangered species such as the Asian rhinoceros survive or not has nothing to do with climate change.

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