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South Korea's ambassador for green growth, Boonam Shin, barnstormed Washington this week seeking U.S. funding and support for a sweeping new international sustainable development institute.
In meetings with the State Department and the White House, Shin said he had "constructive" conversations about how the United States might participate in the South Korea-established Global Green Growth Institute. The institute, formally launched last month, is the one of the first global groups aimed at producing mitigation, adaptation and low-carbon energy strategies in developing nations.
Lawrence MacDonald, vice president for communications and policy outreach at the Center for Global Development, said he thinks the climate fund needs a different approach entirely to buck the traditional battle between the Western and developing worlds.
"You should use your good ties with the Chinese, the Brazilians, the Indians and the United Arab Emirates to put together a coalition of countries who are willing to pledge callable capital," MacDonald said. "If you can put together a coalition of non-U.S. groups ... then you can force President Obama to do what he doesn't want to do, which is to go to Congress.
"We need to force the United States to act," MacDonald said. "If Obama went to Congress and said, 'The whole world has mobilized $50 billion. They're asking for our share, which is $5 [billion],' then I think they would do something."