Poor countries will soon receive billions of dollars from a new World Bank
fund to help them cut pollution, save energy and fight global warming, the
international organization said.
Developing countries such as India and China are already trying to reduce their
carbon emissions, mainly to save on energy, but have baulked at doing more
without technological help from Europe, Japan and the United States.
Most carbon dioxide heating the planet now is a result of western
industrialization, and developing countries want financial help to cut their own
"The fund will support publicly and privately financed projects that deploy
technologies that can cut emissions, increase efficiency and save energy in
developing countries," the U.S., British and Japanese finance ministers said in
the Financial Times on Friday.
The World Bank clean technology fund would receive some of the $2 billion in
climate funds U.S. President George W. Bush announced last month, and part of
the 800 million pounds ($1.56 billion) Britain pledged to "environmental
transformation" last year, Henry Paulson, Alistair Darling and Fukushiro Nukaga
Japan last month announced a $10 billion package to support developing
countries' fight against climate change but the finance ministers' letter did
not detail how much of this would be channeled through the World Bank.
In a written response to questions from Reuters, the World Bank said, "It is
expected that the formal announcement of the creation of the facility will be
"In addition to discussions with donor countries, talks have been or will
shortly be undertaken with other interested parties, including other agencies in
the U.N. system and the private sector."
The World Bank statement referred to "a strategic climate investment facility
that would accelerate and scale up low carbon and climate-resilient investments
in developing countries."
The three finance ministers said the fund would not be an alternative to
U.N.-led talks to agree new emissions curbs to succeed measures now under the
Kyoto Protocol from 2013, a concern in Europe.
"While the idea of a clean tech fund is welcome it should not be used to
distract from or undermine the main event which is global negotiations on
reducing carbon emissions," an EU source told Reuters, who said agreeing on
binding emissions cuts was the top priority.