Climate aid pledges at $30 bln goal

Pledges by rich countries to provide developing nations with “fast-start” funds to fight climate change have reached a goal of $30 billion for 2010-12, but some of it is not “new and additional” as promised.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Tue 16 Nov 2010, 5:58 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 3:44 AM

The head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat, Christiana Figueres, says new cash is a “golden key” to unlocking progress on a deal to slow global warming at annual U.N. talks in Cancun, Mexico, from Nov. 29-Dec. 10.

Taken at face value, planned spending amounts to $30.1 billion, according to a Reuters overview. But developing nations say rich nations, facing austerity cuts at home, are often dressing up old promises as new.


About 140 nations have agreed to the 2009 Copenhagen Accord for curbing global warming. On finance, developed nations agreed to give “new and additional resources ... approaching $30 billion for the period 2010-2012.”

But there are no rules for deciding who contributes what, no common reporting and no definition of what qualifies as “new and additional”. The Copenhagen Accord also sets a goal of raising aid to at least $100 billion a year from 2020.

Figueres has cautioned developing nations that rich nations’ 2010 budgets were largely set before the Copenhagen summit, making it hard for all aid to be new and additional this year.


UNITED STATES - $3 billion. Washington contributed $1.3 billion for 2010 and President Barack Obama is seeking $1.7 billion for 2011. The United States is a leading donor in a $3.5 billion plan to protect forests from 2010-12 also funded by Australia, France, Japan, Norway and Britain.

JAPAN - $15 billion. Japan said in Copenhagen it would offer $15 billion in the three years to end-2012, including $11 billion in public money. The total amount includes about 1 trillion yen ($12.19 billion) left over from the “Cool Earth Partnership” initiative under the previous Liberal Democratic Party-led government running from 2008-2012.

CANADA - $396 million. Canada has committed C$400 million as fast-start funds for the 2010-11 fiscal year, above those considered for climate change programmes before Copenhagen. Future contributions have not been decided.

AUSTRALIA - $551 million. In June, promised 559 million Australian dollars ($550.7 million) to the 2010-12 funds.

EUROPEAN UNION - $10.06 billion. A draft EU report says governments are on track to meet a goal of 7.2 billion euros ($10.06 billion) in 2010-12 and have fulfilled a pledge to provide 2.2 billion euros of the total in 2010.

NORWAY - $1 billion. The government says fast-start funds comprise support for slowing deforestation.

SWITZERLAND - $146 million. The government is seeking 140 million Swiss francs ($145.7 million) in fast-start funds.

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