Hmmmm. Left-wing radical billionaire George Soros has injected himself into the Copenhagen climate change talks. He is riding to the “rescue” of negotiators at loggerheads over the pricetag of global regulatory intervention to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The $10 billion a year proposed by rich nations to help the poor adapt to climate change is “not sufficient” and the gap between what’s offered and what’s needed could wreck the Copenhagen climate conference, American billionaire George Soros said Thursday…
Soros, one in a line of international notables visiting the 192-nation Copenhagen meeting, told reporters he had developed a partial solution on funding. The investor-philanthropist suggested shifting some International Monetary Fund resources from providing liquidity to stressed global financial systems to a new mission of financing projects in developing countries for clean energy and adapting to climate change. About $100 billion in a one-time infusion could be generated, said Soros, a major supporter of causes in the developing world. But he acknowledged a major roadblock in Washington.
“It is possible to substantially increase the amount available to fight global warming in the developing world,” he said. “All that is lacking is the political will. Unfortunately the political will will be difficult to gather because of the mere fact that it requires congressional approval in the United States.” Soros said he had “informal discussions” with Obama administration officials and they recognized the difficulty of getting congressional approval. But he said the issue was too important to sweep aside.
Soros is crusading for expansion of “Special Drawing Rights” — a financial instrument that would essentially divert foreign aid to global warming special interests.
Soros said the $10 billion-a-year short-term plan is “more than nothing, but not much, it’s not sufficient.” He suggested climate financing be boosted with some $100 billion in Special Drawing Rights, the artificial “currency” of the International Monetary Fund, formulated as a basket of major currency values and held in reserve for lending in financial emergencies. In response to the recent global financial crisis, the IMF created more than $200 billion in new Special Drawing Rights. But Soros noted that the Obama administration had difficulty getting U.S. approval for that through Congress. He had found “quite widespread support” from other governments, but “other countries are reluctant to do something that is uncomfortable for the United States,” Soros said.
A key European negotiator was wary of Soros’ idea.
“We have to be very careful in the way we use the Special Drawing Rights,” said Artur Runge-Metzger of the European Commission.
Indeed. Soros has been lobbying for SDRs for years. Here’s a paper he wrote in 2002. He has a rather vested interest in the subject:
I am in the international assistance business. I give away nearly $500m a year. I am more aware than most people of the pitfalls. I have seen, particularly in the Balkans, how ineffective donor conferences are. The mechanism I am proposing is not perfect – nothing is – and it would not eliminate all of the shortcomings of international assistance, but it would be a great improvement over what we have now.
I propose that the IMF should set up an independent jury of eminent personalities- independent of the IMF and of the governments that appoint them. The jury would recommend which projects should qualify for donations; but the jury would not be in charge of actually allocating the funds; that function would remain with the donors. The donor countries would be presented with a menu from which they can choose and the menu would be properly prepared. A jury of eminent persons would take a personal interest in the quality of the projects they approve and there would be a separate body to audit and evaluate the projects so that the donors would have all the information they need to make their allocations. There would be a market-like interaction between donors and projects with checks and balances and quality control.
Reasons to worry? Let us count the ways:
In March, I remind you, Soros was slapped with a record fine in Hungary for illegal market manipulation.
In May, I remind you, Soros was fined by the state of California for failing to disclose a $350,000 campaign contribution funneled through one of his drug policy non-profits to an initiative intended to undermine the state’s 3 Strikes law.
But who in Washington has their eyes on Soros and his scheming eco-redistributionists? Anyone?
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