By Megan Rowling and Alister Doyle BARCELONA/OSLO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A new global deal on climate change, due to be agreed in Paris this year, must pave the way for an ambitious rise in funding for developing countries as their climate-related costs grow, the head of the U.N.'s key climate fund said. Many countries see boosting the size of the fledgling Green Climate Fund (GCF) as central to the accord, which is expected in December, Héla Cheikhrouhou, executive director of the fund, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview. "Clarity about the growth pathway of the level of financial resources through the Green Climate Fund is going to be an essential ingredient of a successful agreement," she said from South Korea, where the fund is based. Late last year, 33 governments pledged almost $10.2 billion to the GCF, but turning those promises into actual contributions is a slow process. As of Thursday, around 40 percent of the pledges were covered by legal agreements specifying when they will be delivered, short of a 50 percent target set for April 30. Cheikhrouhou said she did not know how much cash the fund would have in its coffers by the time of the U.N. climate negotiations in Paris. But she hoped governments would outline plans there and at other key international meetings on sustainable development in July and September to give more to the fund. Following an initial round of pledges in 2014, the GCF has invited additional donations during its first fundraising cycle which runs to 2018. By then, the total contributed to the fund should be "significantly more than the $10 billion", Cheikhrouhou said. The fund will channel finance to countries vulnerable to climate change to help them adapt to its impacts, such as extreme weather and rising seas, and to develop cleanly. Its director said developing countries, beginning with Mexico and Gabon, had indicated they were relying on support from the GCF to implement the voluntary commitments all nations have been asked to submit for the new climate change deal. $100 BILLION 'CONFUSION' Back in 2009, rich governments promised to mobilize $100 billion a year in climate finance by 2020 to support vulnerable countries. So far they have provided annual aid in the low tens of billions of dollars. Cheikhrouhou said the expected Paris agreement - which will not take effect until 2020 - was unlikely to set a new target higher than the $100 billion goal. "Right now all the focus is on reaching some level of understanding on how to achieve the $100 billion - I do not believe anyone is thinking beyond that," she said. There is still much confusion about what types of finance can count towards the $100 billion per year goal, and how it will be reached from current levels, she added. Once the GCF begins to approve projects for backing this autumn, that will help provide some clarity, she added. She did not rule out using the fund's resources for technologies that could make fossil fuel energy cleaner. Green groups have urged the GCF to state it will not invest in coal and other fossil fuels. Cheikhrouhou said technologies supported by the fund must be compatible with recommendations from the U.N. climate panel that the world has to live within a carbon budget, two thirds of which has already been used up. "Our mandate is to promote a paradigm shift away from business as usual ... to low-emissions development," she said. The overall financial burden on developing nations is getting heavier, as they are expected to become more resilient to climate change impacts, to prepare and respond to disasters, and to achieve sustainable development, Cheikhrouhou said. "This cannot be a zero sum game - there has to be growth in the level of finance going to the developing countries," she said. The increase in support can be expected to come from the budgets of wealthy nations, the private sector and new sources of finance, she said. Past suggestions for alternative sources - yet to be considered by the fund's board - have included green bonds and levies on plane tickets and the tourism industry, for example. "We must find a new and innovative solution to grow the pie (in order) to build a more resilient future for developing nations," Cheikhrouhou said. (Reporting by Megan Rowling in Barcelona and Alister Doyle in Oslo; editing by Laurie Goering)
- Associated Press
Actor Annie Wersching, best known for playing FBI agent Renee Walker in the series “24" and providing the voice for Tess in the video game “The Last of Us,” has died. Wersching passed away Sunday morning in Los Angeles following a battle with cancer, her publicist told The Associated Press. Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Wersching appeared on dozens of television shows over the course of her two-decade career.
After Suffering Second Vehicular Accident In Months, It Looks Like There's Even More Bad News For Jay Leno
After having experienced two serious accidents in the past few months, Jay Leno got some more bad news.
- The New Voice of Ukraine
300 wounded Wagner mercenaries brought to hospital in Luhansk Oblast, but ‘doctors refuse to treat them’
Up to 300 mercenaries from the Russian mercenary company Wagner Group were brought to the 15th city multidisciplinary hospital in Yuvileine, Luhansk Oblast, but doctors there have refused to treat them, the Ukrainian military’s General Staff reported on Facebook on Jan. 29.
- Patriot Ledger
The 8-month-old boy who was seriously injured inside his Duxbury home Tuesday night has died of his injuries at a Boston hospital.
- NBC News
An infant who was recently returned to his mother from an alleged kidnapping died Saturday after being rushed to the hospital.
- The Daily Beast
Mark Richards - WPA Pool / Getty ImagesGhislaine Maxwell’s family have released a bizarre photograph of two people in a bath at her former London home with photographs of Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre stuck to their heads in an extraordinary attempt to discredit Giuffre.Giuffre claims that she and Prince Andrew engaged in sexual activity in the bath. Maxwell’s side says the photos show this is impossible.In fact, the somewhat insane photograph will do little to discredit Giuffre, not least
- WLS – Chicago
The Illinois attorney general and Cook County state's attorney are looking into a suburban window company that is accused of ripping off its customers.
Trump’s sustained truth-stretched swing is hardly a surprise
Sarah Michelle Gellar said her husband Freddie Prinze Jr. wouldn't watch movies with her for 15 years after she spoiled 'The Sixth Sense' for him
The actress revealed on "The Graham Norton Show" Friday that she spoiled the movie's twist for her husband 20 minutes in.
- Commanders Wire
Which teams are heading to Super Bowl LVII? We make our picks.
- The Telegraph
Patrick Reed is involved in yet another rules controversy after the American declared that, despite TV suggesting otherwise, he was “100 percent certain" that it was his ball lodged up a tree in Dubai. His insistence permitted him a favourable drop and spared him a walk back to the tee.
- Eagles Wire
Eagles All-Pro quarterback Jalen Hurts arrived at the NFC Championship in an outfit inspired by PRINCE and social media reacted
Megan Fox posted a series of shots on her Instagram Story Friday, showing off a new blonde bob and her toned figure in a tiny orange bikini
A tweet from the Ohio Republican received a number of scathing responses online, with another critic simply writing, "oh shut up."
- Packers Wire
The Packers could trade Aaron Rodgers this offseason and the team prefers to move on from him, according to Adam Schefter
- Touchdown Wire
The 49ers lost the football via fumble and Brock Purdy to injury
- Sacramento Bee
The 34-year-old was driving a rental car and looking for parking, police said.
Matthew Perry Has Been Honest About Drug Struggles While Filming Friends, But ‘Janice’ Actress Shares What Working With Him Was Actually Like
Maggie Wheeler, who played Janice on Friends, opens up about what it was like working with Matthew Perry amidst his struggles with addiction.
Billionaire entrepreneur promoted fake news and conspiracy theory linked to violent attack on Paul Pelosi.
- Wrestle Zone
The Bloodline has officially fractured. Following his WWE Championship and […]