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South Africa’s Manuel to Co-Chair Panel to Design Climate Fund

The head of South Africa’s National Planning Commission, Trevor Manuel, has been named a joint chairman of a committee set up to design a Green Climate Fund to help poorer nations adapt to climate change.

The other two chairmen are Mexican Finance Minister Ernesto Cordero Arroyo and Kjetil Lund, state secretary in the Ministry of Finance in Norway, Manuel told reporters in Cape Town today.

The 40-member panel is tasked with devising how the fund will collect and distribute $100 billion in annual grants until 2020. Part of the funding will be raised through a system of environmental taxes, such as the carbon levy proposed by the South African government, he said.

“Carbon emissions must be priced,” he said. “The fact that you can pollute the atmosphere and not pay for that pollution has to be one of the most manifest market failures.”

The committee will meet at least four times this year and will prepare a report on the fund for a meeting of climate negotiators from more than 190 nations in December in Durban, South Africa.

“It’s very important that we are able to resolve this issue to the satisfaction of the many gathered in Durban” so the meeting can focus on other issues, he said.

Manuel was also appointed as a member of the Seoul-based Global Green Growth Institute founded last year by former South Korean Prime Minister Han Seung-Soo. The 14-member committee will provide policy options to promote a “greener, lower carbon economic future,” Manuel said. The institute will hold its next meeting on June 19, he said.

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