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Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Doha Conference: more aid for developing countries?

Progress on key areas as a new global climate deal and more aid to help vulnerable states cope with extreme weather and rising seas should not be put off in this U.N. climate change conference, starting in Doha next week, say experts cited by AlertNet
As well as finalising a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, the November 26 to December 7 conference is tasked with deciding on the process for crafting a 2015 agreement. As part of that deal, developing-nation governments want to see "sufficient ambition" on emissions targets to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius or less, said Dan Hamza-Goodacre, who leads an initiative for the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) to support climate negotiators. Another crucial issue for them is how the required emissions reductions will be divided between countries - an issue referred to as "equity" at the talks.
World leaders agreed in Copenhagen to limit the rise in the Earth's temperature to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times. But a report from the World Bank warned on Monday that the planet is already on track to warm by 4 degrees Celsius by the end of this century, and current pledges on emissions will not reduce this by much - a prospect that is supported by other scientific studies. The most vulnerable countries hope that the devastating impacts of Hurricane Sandy in the United States last month will have impressed on Washington - which never ratified the Kyoto Protocol - that climate change is bringing greater human and economic losses around the globe.
A key element of that deal will be the amount of money mobilized to finance action to tackle climate change in developing countries - both to help countries cope with climate impacts like droughts, floods and rising seas, and to develop in a cleaner way. An initial "fast start" pledge of some $30 billion from rich nations over the 2010 to 2012 period runs out at the end of the year. The 2009 Copenhagen Accord promised to raise public and private climate finance of $100 billion a year by 2020, but little has been said about what will happen in the interim period, or where the money will come from.
LDC negotiator Chowdhury, who is from Bangladesh, said the fast start money was inadequate, and developed nations should commit in Doha to provide at least $30 billion annually for the next five years, and then $50 billion per year up to 2020. This would allow the most vulnerable countries to put their adaptation plans into action and pursue climate-resilient development, he added.
Nonetheless, some of the biggest donors - including the European Union, the United States and Japan - are saying only that they will continue to give climate aid, without signalling that it will rise, let alone by a specific amount.

Source: AlertNet