WINDHOEK: Namibia is not withdrawing its bid to host the Green Climate Fund Secretariat, says Minister of Environment and Tourism Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah.Speaking at a media conference on Tuesday, Nandi-Ndaitwah said as the race intensifies to host the fund Secretariat, the government has become aware of ‘malicious allegations’ that Namibia withdrew the bid to host the fund.
“These allegations are completely unfounded and be rejected in the strongest terms. Therefore, government hereby reiterates Namibia’s steadfast commitment to host the Secretariat of the fund,” she explained.Since leaders of a fledgling United Nations Green Climate Fund agreed at a first meeting at the end of August this year to choose a headquarters as part of a plan to oversee billions of dollars in aid to help developing nations fight global warming, rumours have surfaced that Namibia withdrew.
The three-day meeting in Geneva, Switzerland heard pitches from the six countries vying to host the fund – Namibia, Germany, Mexico, Poland, South Korea and Switzerland.Nandi-Ndaitwah explained that the country’s decision to apply to host the fund was a conscious, collective decision of the government and resources have been mobilized accordingly to show that Namibia is prepared, committed to, and capable of hosting the secretariat.
Namibia demonstrates strong leadership and is a role model for other developing countries in the area of climate change and broader environmental management. The finalization of the National Climate Change Policy in 2011 is the latest manifestation to host the secretariat, according to Nandi-Ndaitwah.
MET with excellent support from partner ministries, especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has led a comprehensive and highly successful lobbying campaign to date and Namibia’s candidature has been endorsed by the Southern African Developing Community (SADC), African Union (AU) as well as other developing nations.
“Given this strong foundation, we are more determined than ever to pursue this process to its logical conclusion and to bring this prestigious and forward-looking institution to southern hemisphere in general, and Namibia in particular the Land of the Brave,” she added. At the same occasion, Environmental Commissioner Theofilus Nghitila said Namibia would know by the end of this year whether it has been chosen to host the headquarters of the fund.
He said the board aims to select the host country at the next meeting, set for 18 to 20 October this year in South Korea. The choice would then have to be endorsed by environment ministers at UN climate talks at Doha, Qatar late November and early December this year, according to Nghitila.
The UN body is due to manage US.dollars 100 billion (about N.dollars 800) in aid from 2020.Developed nations agreed in 2009 to raise climate aid, now worth about US.dollars 10 billion (about N.dollars 80 billion) a year, to an annual of US.dollars 100 billion (about N.dollars 800 billion) from 2020 to help developing countries curb greenhouse gas emissions and cope with floods, droughts, heat waves and rising sea levels.
The long-term goal of the fund is to ‘transform the livelihood of people by responding to the impacts of climate change.’The board’s first meeting was delayed by five months because Asian and Latin American nations took longer than expected to agree on the composition of their board members.