Green fund controversy, IPCC race and deep denial

WEEKLY WRAP: All you need to know from the last seven days of international climate change and energy politics

The GCF board met in Songdo this week (Flickr/Dongho Kim)

The GCF board met in Songdo this week (Flickr/Dongho Kim)

By Megan Darby

Is the Green Climate Fund losing its way? More than 20 NGOs think so, after the UN-backed climate finance initiative this week named Deutsche Bank as a partner.

Germany’s leading investment bank is the world’s tenth biggest funder of coal, Action Aid, Friends of the Earth and others point out in a joint statement.

“It boggles the mind” that such an institution should be chosen to channel aid for poor countries to cut carbon, said Action Aid’s Brandon Wu.

Abyd Karmali of Bank of America Merrill Lynch leapt to the GCF’s defence, tweeting that the move would help to tap mainstream investors and scale up climate cash.

BRICS bank

The US$10 billion facility is not the only game in town.

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are launching a development bank five times that size.

While the fund does not have an exclusive climate focus, its first project should be green, India prime minister Narendra Modi argued at a BRICS summit on Thursday.


$5 billion – the value of 100 foundations and trusts that have committed to divest from fossil fuels

Deep denial 

It’s no news that oil majors have sought to undermine the scientific consensus that their product causes climate change.

An email uncovered by the Union of Concerned Scientists shows just how long they have been aware of the harm they could be causing.

Exxon was considering the CO2 impact of a particular gas field as early as 1981, former employee and scientist Lenny Bernstein wrote.

Yet Exxon and others continued to promote misinformation for some three decades, the NGO’s “climate deception dossiers” reveal.


“We need to protect the evidence-bound sphere of scientific arguments from the largely unconstrained buzz outside that sphere” a republished study by psychologist Stephan Lewandowsky and colleagues takes on conspiracy theories in the climate sceptic blogosphere

Enter Naki

The race to lead the world’s top authority on climate science is hotting up.

Austria and Montenegro have nominated energy economist Nebojsa Nakicenovic – “Naki” to his friends – to chair the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

He and the other four candidates have three months to convince representatives of each government to vote for them in an October election.

INDC watch: New Zealand is the latest to submit its climate pledge to the UN. NGOs call the plan “weak” and “a slap in the face” to Pacific islands. These academics aren’t impressed, either.

Morocco’s environment minister, Hakima El Haite, told RTCC the national pledges need explaining – the reason Rabat is hosting a summit in October.

RTCC editor Ed King argues the UN needs to take control of the whole messy business.

Dutch courage

Remember that court ruling the Netherlands must cut its emissions faster?

Well, RTCC’s Alex Pashley has been investigating what next for the Dutch government.

And Megan Darby spoke to campaigners around the world inspired by the landmark victory, finding five climate change lawsuits to watch.

But Tuvalu’s prime minister Enele Sopoaga warned one of those ideas – making fossil fuel companies pay for damage to vulnerable communities – risked jeopardising UN talks.

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Bumblebees: These essential pollinators are finding their territory squeezed by rising temperatures, spelling bad news for ecosystems, a study finds.

Surplus gas: Terminals to export America’s shale gas boom don’t make economic sense in a 2C world, warns Carbon Tracker. It is the last of three reports looking at fossil fuel assets which could be stranded as the world curbs carbon emissions.

Joseph Stiglitz: Nobel prize-winning economist argues a green economy provides a route out of economic slump in the wake of financial crisis.


13-16: Development finance summit (Addis Ababa)
20-21: UNFCCC ministerial meeting (Paris)
20-31: SDGs negotiations (New York)

And finally…

Relax, everyone. One Direction have mobilised their millions of fans to the climate cause. It can’t fail now.

Read more on: Breaking News |