World Bank sees climate role for emerging economies

The vast resources of sovereign wealth funds have a “big role” to play in the development of alternative technologies to combat climate change, a World Bank official, Pamela Cox, told Reuters on Tuesday.

China alone has government-controlled investment funds worth US$300 billion, and the total amount invested in these funds globally is up to US$3 trillion.

Sovereign wealth funds have aroused protectionist fears in developed countries recently, as governments of emerging economies use their new wealth to buy up assets around the world. Some of this wealth should be channelled into a global fund to combat climate change, said Cox, the bank’s Latin America chief.

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is planning a US$750-million fund for reseach into burying greenhouse gases underground, and the United Arab Emirates is committing US$15 billion for sustainable energy research. Developed countries are setting up the US$10 billion Climate Investment Funds (CIF), administered by the World Bank, to fund research into low-carbon technologies.

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