Greater clarity on climate finance at 46-nation forum

Sep 03, 2010 by Richard Ingham
Pictured is a general view of the opening of an informal ministerial meeting on September 2, in Geneva ahead of the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which is scheduled take place in Cancun, Mexico, at the year's end.

Forty-six countries gained a clearer view on Friday of what it may take to secure a deal worth hundreds of billions of dollars in climate aid, an issue that threatens hopes for a treaty on global warming.

A two-day informal meeting of the biggest players in the world climate haggle indicated growing support for a "Green Fund" to help dispense up to 100 billion dollars annually by 2020, said several of those attending.

Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa said it was possible the fund could be okayed by the 194-nation UN (UNFCCC) in December.

"We are hoping that we can make a very formal decision regarding the establishment of the fund and at the same time decide on how to make this fund be able to channel resources immediately, because there is this sense of urgency," Espinosa told reporters.

Her optimism was dampened, though, by the United States.

It warned that it expected quid pro quos on other big climate issues -- notably curbs on greenhouse gases and monitoring of national pledges -- before the Green Fund could get underway.

"This has to be part of a package," US climate envoy Todd Stern said.

"That doesn't mean that you can't negotiate quite far down the road on this... (but) all of those key elements have to move, not just one or two."

The Geneva meeting aimed at restoring badly-damaged trust and focussing on pragmatism after the near-disaster of the Copenhagen last December.

That gathering was supposed to have sealed an accord to ratchet up cuts in heat-trapping fossil-fuel gases from 2012 and stump up billions of dollars in help to climate-vulnerable countries.

Driven to the brink by nitpicking and fingerpointing, the summit yielded a desperately crafted, last-minute document, the Copenhagen Accord.

It set a goal of limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), but did not specify by which date, and opened up a register of voluntary pledges on emissions cuts.

Rich countries also promised to mobilise up to 100 billion dollars in climate aid annually by 2020.

The Geneva talks, gathering the major rich economies, emerging giants and countries representative of the developing world, aimed at swapping ideas on who should administer the money and how it should be supervised.

"We debated openly, often outside of our traditional negotiating positions and explored the issues together," said Swiss Environment Minister Moritz Leuenberger, who co-hosted the meeting with Mexico's Espinosa.

"In this way, we increased our understanding of the problems and the possible solutions."

UNFCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres described the event as "a very, very helpful discussion," while French climate ambassador Brice Lalonde said the outcome was "very concrete."

"Many proposals have been made. It's now up to negotiators to take these ideas and sort them out and bring them into the overall discussions," he told AFP.

Greenpeace's climate spokesman, Wendel Trio, said time was running out for agreeing how the money would be raised.

"Without concrete progress on this issue it seems very unlikely that a lot of progress can be made in general in Cancun," Trio said in an email.

"We urge governments to at least agree on the operationalisation of the climate fund as well as agree on a continuation of the process to get agreement on innovative sources for climate funding."

A panel of experts mandated by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is looking at the range of funding options, including carbon taxes and levies on airline targets. It meets for the final time in Addis Ababa on October 12 and will deliver its report "by October 30," said panel member Janos Pasztor.

The shock of Copenhagen's near-fiasco has caused expectations for a treaty to be dialled down.

At best, say experts, Cancun will deliver good progress on finance, technology transfer, preventing deforestation and encouraging skills-building in poor countries.

Even then, agreement in these areas will still be contingent on a deal on emissions controls and the legal status of the future treaty.

That headache could be left to next year, meaning that the treaty would be completed at the end of 2011 at the earliest.

Explore further: Ocean-threatened Marshall's leader posts climate video plea

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

UN: No comprehensive climate deal this year

May 03, 2010

(AP) -- Outgoing U.N. climate chief Yvo de Boer shot down expectations of a climate treaty this year, saying Monday that a major U.N. conference in December would yield only a "first answer" on curbing greenhouse ...

UN: Climate funds shouldn't divert poverty aid

Sep 02, 2010

(AP) -- The U.N.'s climate chief says poor countries are right to expect that any funding they receive to combat global warming be kept separate from development aid or poverty relief.

UN panel: New taxes needed for a climate fund

Aug 05, 2010

(AP) -- British economist Nicholas Stern says a U.N. economic panel is discussing carbon taxes, add-ons to international air fares and a levy on cross-border money transfers as ways to raise $100 billion a year to fight ...

UN signals delay in new climate change treaty

Oct 27, 2009

(AP) -- Just weeks before an international conference on climate change, the United Nations signaled it was scaling back expectations of reaching agreement on a new treaty to slow global warning.

Denmark urges agreement on climate change funds

Oct 23, 2009

(AP) -- Denmark urged the European Union, the United States and other rich countries to commit to financing for a new climate change deal, saying Friday that billions of dollars are needed.

Recommended for you

Unforeseen dioxin formation in waste incineration

9 hours ago

Dioxins forms faster, at lower temperatures and under other conditions than previously thought. This may affect how we in the future construct sampling equipment, flue gas filtering systems for waste incineration ...

User comments : 6

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

omatumr
3 / 5 (6) Sep 03, 2010
Were members of the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) still unaware that their climate story is rapidly unraveling?

Thanks to the Climategate scandal, the "gatekeepers of knowledge" have been exposed: Al Gore, the UN's IPCC, politicians, Nature, Science, the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee, publishers, major news organizations, etc.

Thank God, the climate game is over!

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo
Caliban
1.8 / 5 (5) Sep 03, 2010
Were members of the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) still unaware that their climate story is rapidly unraveling?

Thanks to the Climategate scandal, the "gatekeepers of knowledge" have been exposed: Al Gore, the UN's IPCC, politicians, Nature, Science, the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee, publishers, major news organizations, etc.

Thank God, the climate game is over!

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo


A question, Dr. manuel:

When did you become a correspondent for FOX "News"?

omatumr
2.8 / 5 (5) Sep 03, 2010

When did you become a correspondent for FOX "News"?


I know nothing about FOX News.

I researched the subject and wrote the paper "Earth's Heat Source -The Sun" [Energy and Environment 20 (2009) 131-144]: http://arxiv.org/pdf/0905.0704

Try it yourself. There is no need to let Al Gore, the UN's IPCC, and politicians do your thinking.

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo
Caliban
2 / 5 (4) Sep 04, 2010
Uh-huh.

Right, so, how does the purported(by you) fact that the SSM is incorrect, and that the Sun is actually a relict of a supernova explosion change anything?

It's true that there may be some tidally-induced or electric/magnetic induced component to the heating of the Earth, but this would be additive when over mean, and cooling when under. In either case, averaged over time, the overall effect would be a forcing factor.

Direct irradiance, combined with the increased presence of greenhouse gases will always result in additive heating, to a greater or lesser extent, CO2 being the prime culprit for all the obvious reasons.

By your argument, being at solar minimum -much less an extended one- should have resulted in cooling. The opposite is the case.

I can only conclude from this that you seek funding for your research and/or that you are heavily vested in the standard energy industry paradigm that has held sway for so long and is responsible for so much damage.
omatumr
3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 04, 2010
No, I do not seek funding for my research, and

I am not heavily vested in the standard energy industry.

1. Read "Earth's Heat Source -The Sun" [Energy and Environment 20 (2009) 131-144: http://arxiv.org/pdf/0905.0704 ] and you will learn that the Sun is jerked around "like a yo-yo on a string" about the center-of-mass of the Solar System. This causes cyclic changes in the Sun.

2. Read the latest Physics World and understand that you and I live inside the outer layer of the Sun - the heliosphere! Earth and the Sun are not separate, although light from the photosphere gives the illusion of a solar surface between us.

Thank you for your comments.

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo
Caliban
3 / 5 (4) Sep 05, 2010
No, I do not seek funding for my research, and

I am not heavily vested in the standard energy industry.

1. Read "Earth's Heat Source -The Sun" [Energy and Environment 20 (2009) 131-144: http://arxiv.org/pdf/0905.0704 ] and you will learn that the Sun is jerked around "like a yo-yo on a string" about the center-of-mass of the Solar System. This causes cyclic changes in the Sun.


I did. And, it's no secret that solar output is cyclic. But what is a secret is how your supernova remnant solar model is superior to SSM in explaining or predicting the cycles.

So, what I would like to know, is whether your model puts the sun in an epicycle(of at least 250 million years) to cause the observed warming of earth. And if it isn't in an epicyclic period, then does your model predict the onset of reduced or increased solar activity/irradiation. Or would you predict a stall prior to reduction or increase?

You are welcome for the comments, of course.