The Green Climate Fund, (GCF) a United Nations-affiliated piggy-bank intended to finance climate change projects around the world, is determined to win sweeping U.N.-style immunities from prosecutions for its global operations–even though the U.S., its biggest contributor, opposes the idea, and the U.N. itself says its own diplomatic immunities can’t cover the outfit.
The immunities issue could well spark even deeper opposition from Republican lawmakers in next year’s Congress to the Obama Administration’s aggressive climate change policies–which include a recent $3 billion pledge to the Fund.
“We would definitely be opposed to any extension of immunity to the Fund,” said a senior aide to Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, who will chair the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works starting in January.
“What do they need protection from?” he asked. “In essence, they are doing business development projects. If you look at the way millions of people do transactions across national borders, they do it without immunity and very successfully.”
Apparently undeterred, fund officials told Fox News that they are now trying to hammer out “bilateral agreement templates” that could be laboriously negotiated with each country where it operates—a total that could eventually reach the great majority of the U.N.’s 193 members.
The Fund has already negotiated one agreement of immunity—with its new host country, South Korea, as a condition of moving its headquarters there last year.