Saudi Arabia Says ‘Will Never’ Contribute to $100 Billion UN Green Fund

Saudi Arabia “will never contribute” to the United Nations’ $100 billion Green Climate Fund, which should be financed by the governments of developed nations, according to the kingdom’s chief climate negotiator.

“Saudi Arabia and other developing countries will never contribute to this Fund as some developed countries are suggesting,” Mohammad al-Sabban said today in an e-mailed response to questions. “It is not acceptable to ask developing countries to contribute to the fund, because and as stated in the Climate Convention, it is the responsibility of the developed countries,” he said referring to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change or UNFCCC. “We are very strong on this point along with other developing countries.”

The Green Climate Fund, which was central to agreements reached last year by UN treaty negotiators in Cancun, Mexico, is being discussed at climate talks in Durban, South Africa that began this week. The world’s richest countries pledged to channel $100 billion annually by 2020, part of it through the fund, to help poorer nations reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from energy production and adapt to effects of global warming such as rising sea levels.

Oil Income Loss

Saudi Arabia should be compensated from the fund as climate policies may lead to a loss in oil income to the kingdom, the world’s largest crude exporter, al-Sabban said.

“Those developing countries who are going to be adversely impacted as a result of climate policies should be assisted by the Fund to adapt to such impacts including helping us in achieving economic diversification and reduce our dependency on the exportation of crude oil,” he wrote.

There should be funding to support carbon capture and storage projects in developing countries, in particular fossil fuel exporters such as Saudi Arabia and the UNFCCC should have full authority over the Green Fund rather than the World Bank, al-Sabban said.

“We are fully aware of the economic crisis that the EU and other Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development countries are facing, but that should not lead us to change their commitments,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ayesha Daya in Dubai at adaya1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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