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Russia studying allocation of frozen gold reserves to Global South for climate change

by Lance Luo December 10, 2023 3:47 AM 2 min read
Representatives of the BRICS nations meet in Africa to discuss issues facing the Global South. (Gianluigi Guercia/AFP via Getty Images)
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Russian officials at the COP28 summit on Dec. 9 in Dubai said Moscow is studying whether some of its gold reserves, frozen by the West after its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, could be used to help the Global South combat climate change, RFE/RL reported.

"We are ready to announce that Russia is looking into the voluntary contribution of finance to the loss and damage fund from the frozen national gold reserves held by international organisations," Russia's climate chief Ruslan Edelgeriyev said at COP28.

Russia enjoys historic ties with many countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East, commonly referred to as the Global South.

Global South countries blame developed countries, especially Western states, for failing to deliver enough resources to them to combat climate change.

Washington and Brussels have frozen $300 billion of Russia's gold reserves custodied in Western institutions.

Some Western policymakers want to deploy the funds to help rebuild Ukraine after the war, but there is no existing legal precedent.

Many countries in the Global South blame the West for mobilizing tens of billions of dollars in financial aid for Ukraine when their calls for help to fight deadly climate change have not been met with the same urgency.

Climate change is a major risk that fuels conflict and instability. Extreme weather events like floods and heatwaves have led to the forcible displacement of more than 20 million people since 2008 and millions of deaths.

By mid-century, over one billion people may lack water and more than 200 million could be forced to migrate.


Opinion: Europe knows that climate action is vital to global security
“Present trends are racing our planet down a dead-end three-degree temperature rise,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres recently warned. He is right. Unless we act decisively – beginning at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) underway in Dubai – the threat…
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