United Nations

China, Brazil seek roadmap to US$100b in climate aid

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 November, 2012, 9:30am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 4:13am


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China and Brazil called for developed nations to detail plans on boosting aid for climate projects to US$100 billion by 2020, a measure they say is essential for United Nations climate talks to succeed.

Su Wei, China’s lead negotiator at the 190-nation talks, backed an identical request by representatives of the Least Developed Countries, a bloc of 48 nations, at the UN conference that began on Monday in Doha, Qatar. Brazil’s ambassador said he has the same position and both said they’re concerned funding may dry up next year at the end of a three-year period that aimed to deliver US$30 billion of so-called fast-start financing.

“We urge developed countries’ parties to meet the goal of US$100 billion by 2020 as committed,” Su said. “A roadmap to scaling up the finance is absolutely necessary.”

Climate finance is one of the linchpins of the UN talks because developing nations argue that global warming is caused by the historical emissions of industrialised nations, which now have the responsibility of helping others defend against rising seas and more violent weather.

Aside from developing country concerns over whether aid pledges will be met, there was evidence of discord in one of the three main strands of negotiations when the US and Mexico rejected using as a basis for discussion a text compiled by Aysar Tayeb, the Saudi diplomat chairing the talks.

The call for a finance roadmap has echoes of last year’s talks in negotiations in Durban, South Africa, where the LDC bloc joined with the 27-nation European Union and the AOSIS group of island nations to successfully push for a roadmap setting out a new climate treaty by 2015 that will enter force in 2020.

Doubt already surrounds whether the fast-start finance was delivered in full and whether it was “new and additional” aid as promised by the industrial nations in 2009. The International Institute for Environment and Development said this week that just US$23.6 billion had been paid out as of May. Estimates by HSBC Holdings and the World Resources Institute said the US$30 billion target had been exceeded, though the WRI said transparency surrounding the data is lacking.

“This debate has to be based on very straightforward information,” Brazilian climate negotiator Andre Correa do Lago said in Doha. “What is going to happen regarding financial resources is on of the elements that I believe can create the right mood for negotiations next year.”

Asked about China’s call for a finance roadmap, do Lago said: “We have the same position. Financial resources, technological transfer, all these conditions have to be met.”

Japanese envoy Masahiko Horie told reporters on Tuesday that his country has delivered US$17.4 billion of fast-start finance, exceeding its US$15 billion pledge and the IIED’s estimate of US$9.6 billion. Those funds include both government and private contributions. Artur Runge Metzger, lead climate negotiator for the European Commission, said the EU has now come up with its final tranche of aid, bringing the bloc’s total to 7.2 billion euros (US$9.3 billion), also exceeding the IIED estimate.

Envoys in Doha should double pledges to US$60 billion for the three years through 2015 and plough US$10 billion to US$15 billion into a new Green Climate Fund that was set up in Durban, according to the environmental group Conservation International.

“A climate finance roadmap from next year through to 2020 after fast-start finance ends at the end of next month is required to bring new predictable finance to developing countries,” Evans Njewa, a Malawian envoy who negotiates on finance for the LDCs, told reporters in Doha. “This is a pre-condition of a successful outcome in Doha.”

Providing more aid may be the key to unlocking even greater efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Steve Herz, climate finance spokesman for the Sierra Club, said in an interview in Doha.

“I don’t see how you can talk about raising mitigation ambition without scaling up finance,” Herz said.