Don't bank on it

One thing I've learnt during my short time in Cancun is that when money talks, people listen.

So it's no surprise that when representatives of the World Bank roll into town, they have a guaranteed audience - even if some of them don't like what they have to say.

Unfortunately, the Bank has announced some very troubling news today.

Its President, Robert Zollick, has just said the Bank will finance a new carbon market support fund.

The fund - which eventually could be worth $100 million - will be used to support developing countries to set up carbon markets, similar to one which already operates in Europe.

Yet the evidence is stacking up that they're totally ineffective.

Since the European Emissions Trading Scheme started in 2005, emissions have barely gone down, even though the trade is now worth many billions of Euros each year.

Worse, there's a whole raft of people piling into the market - believing it will be the next big global financial cash cow.

Unfortunately, they're ignoring the evidence which suggests that milking it could lead to both financial and environmental disaster.

The dodgy financial wizardry used by hedge funds and bankers could eventually make the price of carbon crash, taking a big slice of the economy with it.

The World Bank's announcement won't be hitting the headlines. But it could have a big impact on all of us.

What's the alternative?

Friends of the Earth launched a report here in Cancun last week showing there are better ways of providing developing countries with the money they need to tackle climate change. 

A tax on global financial transactions, redirecting fossil fuel subsidies and new carbon taxes, amongst other measures, could raise over $400 billion a year to fight climate change - all without denting the pockets of ordinary people here in the UK or other rich countries.

So we'll definitely be listening closely to what Mr Zollick has to say.

And we'll be ready to put the record straight as soon as he's said it.