U.S. Seeks to Reassure Poor Nations on Climate Aid
Climate finance officials from the U.S., Germany and the U.K. said their governments will continue to pay out aid aimed at helping the world’s most vulnerable countries cope with global warming.
“I don’t think any of us see a climate finance cliff on the horizon,” Beth Urbanas, director of U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Environment and Energy, said today at a discussion on the matter in Doha. The capital of Qatar is hosting envoys from more than 190 countries gathered for United Nations global warming treaty negotiations.
Vulnerable nations say they are facing a possible funding crisis because about $30 billion in short-term funding is set to end this year. Developed countries haven’t yet offered details on how they plan to boost the funds available to meet their promise of $100 billion by 2020.
“We have a strong commitment to reaching the $100 billion target,” Urbanas said.
She declined to comment when asked about a demand from China and Brazil for a roadmap sketching out how post-2012 finance will be distributed.
U.K. has already budgeted for climate aid through 2015, said Daisy Streatfeild, head of international climate finance negotiations for the nation. She said there should be more focus on how to use the funds most effectively as opposed to “just chasing money.”
Germany’s Ina von Frantzius said she was “puzzled” about talk of a climate “fiscal cliff” and said her country is committed to continuing aid.
Climate finance is one of the linchpins of the United Nations-led talks, which are due to end Dec. 7. Developing nations argue that global warming is caused by the historical emissions of industrialized nations, which now have the responsibility of helping others defend against rising seas and more violent weather.
Emmanuel Dlamini, chairman of the African Group of Negotiators, said while he appreciates the assurances from the U.S., the U.K. and Germany that the money will materialize, it’s not enough.
“We don’t have a decision now on the financial cliff,” he said. “All that we are saying is that if the developed countries are ready to continue with fast-start finance let’s have a decision that is open to every party rather than to just say an assurance.”
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