14 July 2010

Climate change needs private aid

A pledge by rich nations to provide as much as $100 billion a year in climate-related aid to developing countries by 2020 may depend in part on the generosity of private donors.

A pledge by rich nations in Copenhagen to provide as much as
$100 billion a year of climate-related aid to developing countries
by 2020 may depend in part on the generosity of private donors and
other non-governmental sources.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday that his panel of
advisers -seeking ways to fulfill a U.N. climate summit's pledge in
the Danish capital last December - was considering private sources
to deliver some of the aid promised to help developing countries
deal with rising sea levels, drought and other effects of rising

The panel chaired by prime ministers Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia
and Jens Stoltenberg of Norway have been meeting this week to
devise ways to set up a $30 billion annual fund by 2012 that would
increase to $100 billion a year by 2020.

The panel also includes billionaire George Soros, White House
economic adviser Lawrence Summers, the president of Guyana and
ministers from Britain, France, Mexico, Singapore and South Africa.

"The challenges will be great," Ban told reporters. "They have
to first of all identify the sources of resource - whether it comes
from public funding or private funding. I suspect that to generate
$100 billion, both private and public funds would be necessary."
He did not specify, however, what sort of private funds might be
sought - individual, corporate or other sources.

Ban's advisory panel on climate financing said it plans to
submit a final report in October on how to set up the fund.

Separately, Chris Huhne, Britain's energy and climate secretary,
told reporters that private finance would be "absolutely key,
because so much of the mitigation agenda is about what is
effectively a new industrial revolution in all of our countries, in
the developing world and the developed world."
He said the financing options under consideration include grants
and aid from rich nations, some forms of government, bank or
private lending and new taxes on shipping or aviation.

The fund was a key part of the nonbinding "Copenhagen Accord,"
an agreement brokered by U.S. President Barack Obama with China and
others that signaled a new start for rich-poor cooperation on
climate change.

The accord urged deeper cuts in emissions of carbon dioxide and
other gases blamed for global warming, but did nothing to demand
them. The next hoped-for step, a legally binding international
treaty requiring further emissions cuts by richer nations, remains
an elusive goal of U.N. negotiations.

"Frankly, if we don't get the finance credibly right, if we
don't come up with a set of packages or a package which the
developing countries can clearly see is a real, effective, credible
effort to meet the commitments that we've made, then I don't think
that there is going to be a global deal," Huhne said.

One of most concrete actions was the pledge by richer nations to
finance a $10 billion-a-year, three-year program to fund poorer
nations' projects to deal with drought and other climate-change
impacts, and to develop clean energy.

They also set a "goal" of mobilizing $100 billion-a-year by 2020
for the same adaptation and mitigation purposes.

Among those most affected by rising temperatures, the 11 nations
that make up the Pacific Small Island Developing States expressed
frustration Tuesday over the pace of progress in getting the
promised climate aid.

The group said in a statement it fears the aid will get held up
in "bureaucratic red tape" or the promised "new and additional"
money from rich nations will wind up being existing development aid
that is simply repackaged. (-Sapa-AP, July 2010)


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