Member states divided over board of Green Climate Fund
By Anne Eckstein | Monday 02 April 2012
Despite extensive discussions, on 30 March, the member states have been unable to agree on the composition of the EU’s representation within the board of the Green Climate Fund.
The European Union has a potential seven seats in the developed countries’ group within this board, which was created under the Climate Convention to finance activities relating to adaptation to climate change in developing countries. The EU was supposed to notify the administration of the convention of the nominees for these seats by 31 March at the latest, but since the bloc has been unable to agree on an internal plan, it will now be unable to send a common delegation to the next meeting of the developed countries, which will take place in Geneva, Switzerland, at the end of April. Those member states wishing to put forward their candidacy for one of the seats must therefore present themselves individually, and meetings to coordinate representatives of these countries will take place in Geneva over the next few days.
The distribution of seats will be confirmed during the Geneva meeting; the Danish EU Presidency has proposed ‘rotating’ occupations of the seats, but France and Germany have rejected this idea, calling for permanent seats. A compromise plan, discussed on 30 March by the Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper), proposed the following distribution of seats: three permanent seats (the UK, Germany and France) and three ‘rotating’ seats (one for Italy and Spain, one for Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands, and one for Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic); the seventh seat being allocated to the European Commission. However, certain member states were unenthusiastic about this proposal, including Poland, which wanted a permanent seat - as well as better representation of ‘new’ member states.
The Danish Presidency was unable to resolve the disagreement during the 30 March discussions, but has subsequently said that it is «confident that a solution can be found well ahead of the first meeting of the board of the Green Climate Fund,» and that «discussions within the EU and with representatives of other developed countries have shown a strong collective commitment to the success of the Green Climate Fund».
The Green Fund was launched at the Cancún climate conference in 2010, and re-affirmed during the Durban conference, in December 2011. Its purpose is to implement the funding of activities dealing with adaptation to climate change; this funding should reach €100 billion annually between now and 2020. A transition committee responsible for setting up permanent structures has been established; this is currently composed of 40 members, of whom 15 represent developed countires and 25 represent developing countries (Africa, 7; Asia, 7; small islands, 2; least developed countries, 2). A decision will be made on the location of the headquarters of the fund in Qatar in December this year. Germany has proposed Bonn, which is already the location of the administration of the Climate Convention.