VOLUME 28 NO. 7 | FEBRUARY 7 - 13, 2009

Rockefeller fund to help Asia endure hotter planet

Last updated 2-5-09 at 1:45 p.m.

By Michael Casey
The Associated Press

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) — The Rockefeller Foundation will spend tens of millions of dollars helping Asian cities endure global warming instead of trying to stop it, the foundation’s president said Jan. 27.

Judith Rodin said the money will be spent developing programs in 10 Asian cities that will improve their ability to withstand climate change.

“There was a conscious decision to focus on adaptation because so few people were doing it,” Rodin said at a press conference in Bangkok. “Regardless of how many Hummers could be traded for Priuses, the climate change that we’ve wreaked upon the planet is occurring. There is no redress for it but mitigation action.”

Campaigns to curb greenhouse gases have encouraged people to choose fuel-efficient vehicles like the Toyota Prius and to shun vehicles with higher emissions like Hummers.

Possible projects to help Asian cities would minimize the impact of floods or prevent dengue fever, a mosquito-borne illness that is expected to be more widespread as a result of global warming, she said. The foundation might also finance insurance products that protect citizens and businesses from losses incurred as a result of extreme weather.

The initiative is part of plan by the New York–based foundation to spend $70 million over five years to address climate change around the world. About two-thirds of the fund will be spent in Asia.

The group plans to work in the Indian cities of Surat, Indore, and Gorakphur, and the Vietnamese cities of Da Nang, Can Tho, and Quy Nhon. Cities in Thailand and Indonesia are expected to be announced in the coming months.

“Climate change and environmental degradation disproportionately burden those with fewest means, the majority of whom live in or are moving to cities,” said Rodin. (end)


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