* Draft design submitted for approval at Durban talks
* When approved, paves way for set-up in 2012, launch in
By Nina Chestney and Agnieszka Flak
LONDON, Oct 21 A U.N. committee has completed
the draft design of a fund to help developing countries tackle
climate change, paving the way for its launch in 2013, the
U.N.'s climate chief said on Friday.
Last year, countries agreed to create the 'Green Climate
Fund' to channel up to $100 billion a year by 2020 to developing
countries to help fight climate change.
An international committee in charge of designing the fund
met this week in South Africa, but some organisations accused
the United States and Saudi Arabia of hampering the process.
Negotiators from around the world will consider whether to
approve the design at next month's U.N. climate summit in
Durban, where hopes have faded for sealing a new globally
binding climate pact to succeed the Kyoto Protocol from 2013.
"The Committee ended its work by submitting for
consideration and approval in Durban both a draft instrument for
the Green Climate Fund and recommendations on transitional
arrangements to get it launched quickly," Christiana Figueres,
executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate
Change, said in a statement emailed to Reuters.
"The submissions (...) include a strong signal to engage
the private sector and a solid basis to develop country-driven
operations through direct access to funds."
"Once approved in Durban, they would allow the fund to grow
quite quickly, especially as the financial environment improves,
and the way would be open for a fairly rapid set-up of the fund
in 2012 and full initial operations in 2013," she added.
The UK-based International Institute for Environment and
Development (IIED) said on Thursday that the United States and
Saudi Arabia had withdrawn their support for the overall design
of the fund due to concerns about some wording of the text.
At a U.N. meeting in Panama last month, more than 100 of the
world's poorest nations accused the United States of blocking
talks on how to scale up climate finance.
Some of the poorest nations in Africa and Asia -- which are
particularly vulnerable to climate change -- have been urging
more direct access to the fund and want to make sure green
finance is in place before committing to a binding climate pact.
They argue that national climate change trust funds in
developing nations should be able to access the Green Climate
Fund directly, rather than going through a third party such as
the World Bank, which entails long delays and excessive
paperwork, the IIED said in a statement.
"Direct access would allow more devolved decision-making to
reflect local and national concerns and it would enable
countries to integrate the funding into their national plans and
strategies for dealing with climate change," said Pa Ousman
Jarju, chair of the Least Developed Countries negotiating block
at the U.N. climate change talks.
(Editing by Jason Neely)