Ten nations pledge over $ 6 bn to climate funds

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New Delhi, Sep 27 (UNI) Ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poland from December 1-12, ten leading industrialised nations today pledged more than 6.1 billion dollar to the Climate Investment Funds(CIF) to help developing countries mitigate increases in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapt to climate change, according to World Bank.

The Conference is being held under the aegis of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Announcing the donors' pledge, the World Bank said CIF has a sunset clause in order not to prejudice primacy of the UNFCCC.

The first proposals to benefit from CIF funding by Australia, France, Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States are expected to be announced early in 2009, it said.

Thanking the donors, World Bank president Robert B Zoellick said, "These funds are a concrete step towards reconciling the challenge of global climate change with the challenge of development and overcoming poverty".

The funds, to be disbursed as grants, highly concessional loans, and risk mitigation instruments, will be administered through multilateral development banks and the World Bank group.

Under CIF, two trust funds are being created. These are Clean Technology Fund and Strategic Climate Fund.

The first fund will invest in projects and programmes in developing countries that contribute to the demonstration, deployment, and transfer of low-carbon technologies having potential for long-term greenhouse gas savings.

The second fund will serve as an overarching fund for various programmes to test innovative approaches to climate change, including a pilot aimed at increasing climate resilience in developing countries. A forest investment programme and a renewable energy programme are also expected to be created in the coming months.

It said developing countries will have an equal voice in the governance structures of the funds, and decisions on use of funds will be made by consensus.

An annual partnership forum will be held to provide a venue for talks on the strategic directions, results, and impacts of the CIF, as well as provide a platform to share lessons learned. First meeting of this forum will be held on October 14, it added. UNI SAA SLD HT1435

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