Aust to spearhead global fund for climate change

Ewen McDonald, deputy director general of AusAID, will head up a new international fund designed to help developing nations adapt to the major challenges posed by climate change.

Mr McDonald will co-chair the Green Climate Fund with Zaheer Fakir of the South African Department of Environmental Affairs.

A spokeswoman for AusAID said during the first year of operation the fund board would consider where it should be located, the formation of its secretariat, access to funding for developing countries and how to leverage private sector action on climate change.

''Australia's involvement in the design of the fund is to ensure it focuses on achieving results through effective and efficient operations,'' she said.

Before his appointment to AusAid in 2011, Mr McDonald was at the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations as deputy secretary of the corporate and network cluster, and held other senior positions in the Australian government and Victorian government.

The Green Climate Fund was created as part of a deal struck in December 2011 in the 194-nation climate talks in Durban, South Africa. It would receive and distribute $US100 billion ($A96 billion) that rich nations have pledged annually by 2020 to help poorer countries adapt to changing climate conditions and to move toward low-carbon economic growth.

The commitment to provide those billions in climate aid through the new ''green'' fund came as part of a hard-fought agreement in Durban that was meant to set a new course for the global fight against climate change for the coming decades.

But the agreement did not specify how that money would be mobilised, and a series of technical decisions on how and where it should be run and even how it could raise those funds were put off for later. with AP