The decision was taken after a four-day meeting in Bahrain. Funding approved at the meeting in Manama includes projects linked to geothermal energy in Indonesia, greener cities in Europe and the Middle East, and protection for coastal communities in India.
But delegates sparred over a request from host country Bahrain to receive funding to protect its freshwater resources. Environmentalists had pointed out that the Gulf nation could pay for the project itself using money it has made off its vast reserves of oil and gas. The project was eventually approved, but with only $2.1 million of the $9.8 million requested by Bahrain.
Decision on a funding bid by China was postponed after concerns from Japan and the United States about the possibility that the money could be used to subsidize research into new technology.
Debates within the fund have sometimes split Western countries and large emerging economies such as China, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The fund’s last director, Howard Bamsey, resigned in July after what officials described as a “very difficult and disappointing” meeting.
The latest meeting took place weeks before a summit in Katowice, Poland, on the future of the 2015 Paris climate accord. Funding for developing countries to mitigate and adapt to global warming will be at the heart of the discussion of that meeting, too.