From UN Funding to Climate Change

An expert panel tasked with assessing the UN’s capacity to respond to climate migration has released a report finding the organisation lacks a ‘system-wide lead, coordination mechanism, or strategy on disaster displacement, including related to climate change.’

Related: Latin America Gets Its Own Migrant Crisis

The Green Climate Fund has announced plans for the GCF Board to consider USD $1.1 Billion in project proposals at their upcoming meeting next week.

Related: ADB Sells $750 Million 10-Year Global Green Bond to Support Climate Change Mitigation, Adaptation in Asia and Pacific

The US Government’s International development finance agency is in talks with India to include the country in a partnership the US is forming with allies in Southeast Asia to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Related: EU launches strategy to rival China’s ‘Belt and Road’ initiative in Asia

Feeding America, the US’s largest hunger-relief organisation, has appointed Claire Babineaux-Fontenot CEO. She has previously held leadership positions at Walmart, law firm Adams & Reese, PwC and in government and was most recently running her own consultancy firm. CBF Consulting Group, in Dallas. Babineaux-Fontenot will be moving to Chicago to take the role.

Precious Moloi-Motsepe, South African business woman and philanthropist, has been announced as the new co-chair of the Maverick Collective, a women-led philanthropy group focused on improving the health of girls. Moloi-Motsepe, who is co-chair of the Motsepe Foundation and chair of African Fashion International is succeeding Melinda Gates in the role.

Denmark and Sweden have frozen funding for the UN Environment Programme following sharp criticism of UNEP head Eric Solheim’s frequent flying and unjustified spending in a draft internal audit. Both countries have stated their contributions to the UNEP will be frozen until the audit is finalised and Solheim has faced backlash both for his spending and for the hypocrisy of running the agency while generating a large carbon footprint through excessive travel.

The upcoming ‘Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5C’ was commissioned under the Paris Agreement to advise and inform policymakers of the steps needed to avert the worst Climate Change outcomes but reviewers are warning the dangers are being watered down in the final draft. They say that scientists are ‘pulling their punches’ to make their policy recommendations more palatable to those countries and key players who have been most resistant to cutting fossil fuel emissions.

Related: Governments need to honour their climate pledges as risks grow

Congress is expected to pass the bipartisan BUILD Act, a bill overhauling the US’s development aid agencies in order to streamline and consolidate US Foreign Aid programmes.

Related: Trump keeps threatening to end foreign aid for disloyal countries. Here’s why it hasn’t happened.

With both the major UK political parties holding their conferences observers have noted an increased divide on development policy, with both parties offering more detailed development aid platforms than in past years when development aid was only really discussed in relation to its cost to the budget.

Related: DFID’s ‘antiquated’ contract system risks stifling innovation, report finds

Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV), a USD $1 Billion fund led by Bill Gates aiming to invest in energy startups capable of dramatically cutting global emissions has released a full list of companies it is funding that it can publicly acknowledge at this time.

Related: World Bank bets big on batteries for solar energy boost

Rodger Voorhies, head of the Gates Foundation’s global growth and opportunity division, spoke to Devex this week about his role overseeing the Foundation’s internal reorganisation over the last year and the newly formed division he now helms.