The organization responsible for managing a global cap-and-trade system worth billions of dollars for carbon emissions projects around the world is trying to get sweeping legal immunities for its actions, even as it plans to expand its activities dramatically in the wake of the United Nations’ Rio + 20 summit on sustainable development, which starts June 20.
Despite its name, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or UNFCCC, legal experts ruled in 2006 that it was not to be part of the U.N. system of organizations that has enjoyed diplomatic and legal immunities since the end of World War II. Now, it is scrambling to figure out how to get them. A meeting of a UNFCCC subsidiary in Bonn last month agreed to forward a new draft treaty covering the issue to another meeting in November.
Internal UNFCCC documents, examined by Fox News, show that among other things, top officials hope to use those immunities to avoid challenges in the future based on such things as:
–possible conflicts of interest in their duties,
–breaches of confidentiality in their work,
–violations of the due process rights of those affected by UNFCCC actions,
–making decisions or actions that are beyond the legal mandate of the organization or its subsidiaries.
The Bonn-based UNFCCC is responsible, among other things, for the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the cap and trade emissions system created by the Kyoto Protocol, which the U.S. has not ratified. In the wake of Rio + 20, UNFCCC also hopes to manage a mammoth Green Climate Fund, intended to help mobilize as much as $100 billion a year for projects to lower global greenhouse gases.
The Obama Administration has strongly supported creation of the Green Climate Fund, and remains heavily involved in UNFCCC activities surrounding the Kyoto Protocol, including plans to deepen the cuts in global carbon emissions in the years ahead.