Denmark urges agreement on climate change funds
(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.
The appeal came days after the EU failed to agree on how much it should offer poor nations for their cooperation in trying to cut carbon emissions and how to spread the burden among the group's 27 member states.
Developing countries argue that rich countries produced most of the heat-trapping greenhouse gases on their march to development and should bear the costs of fixing the problem. Wealthy nations say all countries - including growing polluters India and China - have to agree to broad cuts in emissions.
Danish Climate and Energy Minister Connie Hedegaard said it was important to make a politically binding deal at a December U.N. conference in Copenhagen.
She said it was "very, very important" for EU leaders to reach agreement at a summit next week.
"But I also would strongly urge other partners - the United States, Japan and others - to come forward with finance," she added.
Rich countries agree they should offer developing nations financial incentives to cut emissions, but differ on the amounts.
Hedegaard, who spoke at an international meeting on technology and climate change in New Delhi, declined to specify an amount, saying only that it would be billions of dollars.
She and other environment officials also stressed the need to generate private funding for environmentally friendly technology.
The Copenhagen conference will seek to reach a new global climate change treaty to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on carbon dioxide emissions. It has been billed as a last chance to avoid the impact of catastrophic global that could be felt for generations.
Even a 3.6-degree-Fahrenheit (2-degree-Celsius) temperature rise could subject up to 2 billion people to water shortages by 2050, according to a 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a U.N. network of 2,000 scientists.
India and China agreed Wednesday to work on slowing the growth of greenhouse gas emissions, but resisted making those limits binding and subject to international monitoring.
Climate change issues were also expected to figure at a scheduled meeting Saturday between India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Chinese counterpart, Wen Jiabao, on the sidelines of a summit of Southeast Asian nations in Thailand.
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