Friday, January 29, 2010

This is where our money goes

One of the abiding mysteries of our time is how the "climate groupies" manage to field their supporters in such large numbers at the succession of climate summits held throughout the world.

Well, part of the puzzle is solved, at least in respect of the Johannasburg Earth Summit in 2002. The British taxpayer, via the Department For International Development (DFID), spent £200,000:
To support preparatory activities, in particular at the national and regional levels, in a co-ordinated and reinforcing way, and to support the participation of major groups from DCs (developing countries) in regional and participatory processes and in the Rio event itself.
We also spent £120,000 on "Project Earth Summit 2002" to "create a multi-stakeholder movement around the world that will be preparing for Earth Summit 2002."

Not content with that, we also managed to dosh out on a "Workshop on Women as 'Sacred Custodians' of the Earth" to "explore the spiritual, religious and philosophical views concerning women and ecology and the policy implications of these belief systems." There is some small consolation, I suppose, that we only paid £10,000 for that little junket.

However, that pales into insignificance when compared with the amount of money we spent on "support for developing country participation at important international conferences, negotiations and seminars" – most of them, presumably, on climate change. That was an eye-watering £1,500,000, all at the taxpayers' expense.

You know, there are some people out there who think our development budget is spent on alleviating poverty and other such "good works". If they really knew how the money was spent, they would be sick to their stomachs. And this, incidentally, is the budget that David Cameron wants to ring-fence.