The U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris last year established a Green Climate Fund (GCF) that is supposed "to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change." Developed countries are on the hook for contributions that will be an estimated $450 billion a year by 2020.
But where will this western feel-good money end up?
Likely much of it will become what Marian Tupy calls over at Reason.com calls "a slush fund for world's dictators." Yes, despots in the developing world are looking at lining their coffers with guilt money from the developed world.
Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is likely already thinking about lining his own pockets with green guilt money in the wake of announcements emanating from the Paris conference:
Lo and behold, Zimbabwe's government-run daily "newspaper" The Herald repored that "Southern Africa is already counting the costs of climate change-linked catastrophes… In Zimbabwe, which has seen a succession of droughts since 2012, a fifth of the population is facing hunger… feeding them will cost $1.5 billion or 11 percent of… the Gross Domestic Product."
No doubt Robert Mugabe, the 91-year-old dictator who has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980, is salivating at the prospect of some global warming cash. Beginning in 2000, Mugabe started to expropriate privately-held agricultural land. The result of what what is euphemistically called "land reform," was a monumental fall in productivity and the second highest bout of hyperinflation in recorded history.
Some three million of Zimbabwe's smartest people, including tens of thousands of doctors and lawyers, have left the country. Most of those who have remained behind are subsistence farmers with very little wealth. There is, in other words, very little loot left for the government to steal.
But now the gullible westerners are getting ready to pour GCF into Zimbabwe. Goody for Mugabe but not so much for the people who still live in this dismal country with a dismal subsistence economy.
The climate change conference finds it convenient to believe that drought is the cause of Zimbabwe's abysmal economy. Yet Botswana, which shares a border with Zimbabwe, has boosted its food production since 2004, food production by 29 percent. Food production in Zimbabwe declined by 9 percent in Zimbabwe. Botswana has adopted different policies from those of the klepto regime of Robert Mugabe.
The only thing much of this climate money will accomplish is making activists feel good about themselves.