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IMF working on plans for "green fund"

Sat, 01/30/2010 - 4:26pm
Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund is working on proposals for a multibillion dollar "green fund" to help countries tap funds to deal with the effects of climate change, the head of the institution said on Saturday.

IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that developing countries would need financial help to tackle climate change while rich nations have taken on higher debt in reaction to the global financial crisis.

Global talks on a new climate change pact have mostly looked to industrial powers to help finance efforts by developing countries to deal with climate change.

In remarks in Davos that were published on the IMF website, Strauss-Kahn said the world needed to "think outside the box and come up with innovative ways to provide the money."

He said the IMF would begin discussions with central banks and finance ministers on whether such a fund was possible.

Strauss-Kahn said resources for the fund, "which could climb to $100 billion a year," could be raised through an allocation to IMF member countries of IMF special drawing rights, or SDRs.

SDRs are international reserve assets and the fund's unit of account. They are disbursed in proportion to each member's IMF quota, or subscription, and can be exchanged for hard currency such as U.S. dollars, yen, euros or pounds.

Last year IMF member countries agreed to issue $250 billion worth of SDRs to boost global liquidity at a time countries' foreign exchange reserves were being depleted by the financial crisis,

(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Xavier Briand)

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