War, money, politics: Discord among wealthy countries hampers landmark climate fund

By Zia Weise, Sara Schonhardt | 02/15/2024 05:00 AM EST

Squabbles involving the EU, Russia, Turkey and the United States are holding up the launch of a board that’s supposed to oversee aid to communities wracked by disasters.

People carry their belongings while crossing the section of a road collapsing due to flash floods.

People in Kenya carry their belongings while crossing a road collapsing due to flash floods in November. Luis Tato/AFP via Getty Images

Aid for victims of climate change risks is being delayed as wealthy countries brawl over who gets to sit on the board of a new global fund.

The fight includes a disagreement between the European Union and other high-income governments, including the United States, over whether the fund’s biggest donors should get extra seats on the board deciding how to dole out the cash.

Tensions over the war in Ukraine, a rift within the EU and Turkish demands for special treatment have also caused the countries to miss last month’s deadline for the board to begin work, according to multiple climate negotiators and government officials who were granted anonymity to discuss sensitive matters.


The upshot: The world’s governments have little to show so far for the historic deal they reached in November, which set the outlines of a fund that is supposed to aid communities devastated by climate disasters such as extreme storms and heat.