10 Dec 2010

Oxfam hopes climate change fund will be set up

4:15 pm on 10 December 2010

The non-government organisation Oxfam New Zealand is cautiously optimistic a good climate change fund will be established at the United Nations conference in Mexico.

Oxfam New Zealand executive director Barry Coates says the situation is in the balance as the fund could be held hostage to agreement on other issues in Cancun.

But he says the pieces are coming together to establish a fund, administered by a board on which developing countries would have the majority of seats.

He says that should be good for Pacific countries who've previously had to jump through hoops to gain funding for climate change adaptation

"In the past they've had to get money through the global environment facility that's often meant years of delay, spending a lot of money on foreign consultants in order to make applications etc. This new fund we are hoping and pressing for it to provide direct access so that the money would be a lot more accessible by Pacific governments."

Barry Coates says he hopes New Zealand and Australia will side more with Pacific countries on funding issues rather than with the United States, which is pressing for more donor countries on the climate fund board.