By Roger Harrabin
Environment analyst, BBC News, Copenhagen
George Soros says the proposal only needs political support to succeed
Billionaire investor George Soros has unveiled a proposal to provide up to $150bn of cash for poor countries to get clean technology.
He says it will help developing nations halt deforestation, adapt to climate change and have low-carbon energy.
Underpinned by gold reserves, the plan would more than double the amount of money on the negotiating table from rich countries to poor nations.
Mr Soros presented the proposal at the UN climate summit in Copenhagen.
He said his plan received a sympathetic hearing from key Western governments, but warned it would need a great act of political will to overcome obstacles.
"This overcomes part of the problems of financing," he observed.
"It could be very important because climate change is a very real and existential problem for the world."
Responding to Mr Soros's proposals, an IMF spokeswoman said: "It is up to each country to determine how to use its SDR allocation, including possibly by directing the funds toward emissions-reducing projects in poor countries."
Politicians cannot be distracted by the stolen emails row, Mr Soros says
Commenting on the "ClimateGate" scandal, in which emails and documents were stolen from a UK climate research centre's computers, Mr Soros told BBC News that politicians should ignore the fallout and focus their attention on tackling climate change because the risks were so huge.
"If the choice is between cooking alive and wasting money unnecessarily I would rather waste some money, because long before we cook we are going to kill each other if we don't deal with climate change," he said.
"So the risk is that we won't do enough because there are all kinds of delays that are already built into the system so we become aware of the danger too late."
Mr Soros's climate financial plan proposes to tap into the hidden vast reserves of cash that lie ready to keep rich nations' economies afloat in time of crisis.
Poor nations want rich countries to provide more financial help
Mr Soros said that nations might say the scheme could not be done, but added that France and the UK recently used the SDRs to give $2bn to the poorest countries.
The plan was generally welcomed by environmental groups.
"We need the money," a Greenpeace spokesman said.
Oxfam International's senior climate adviser Robert Bailey said: "Finally someone is showing the kind of innovative thinking needed to make this deal worth its salt.
"Soros's proposal shows exactly the kind of ambition and urgency we need to see from rich country governments themselves."
But Friends of the Earth was much more cautious, partly because it feared that the Soros scheme might take pressure off rich nations and partly because it involved carbon markets, which it described as a "scam".
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