Friday, December 12, 2014

Peru Climate Talks Address Troubled Green Climate Fund (Again)

More than 190 nations at international climate talks in Lima, Peru, continued Dec. 10 to work on overcoming a serious rift over the aid richer nations are to give to developing nations under a 2015 global climate deal (again).

The U.S. and other rich nations pledged $100 billion-a-year in climate aid to poor countries beginning in 2020.  There is also a question about how individual countries should provide more detail on any climate aid they are considering when they prepare formal emissions-reduction pledges that will anchor the global climate accord to be signed a year from now in Paris.

Industrial nations first pledged the $100 billion-a-year aid at the 2009 Copenhagen climate summit and soon after set up a new Green Climate Fund (GCF). Pledges to the GCF hit what many heralded as a significant $10 billion threshold during the United Nations negotiations in the Peruvian capital, with pledges announced Dec. 9 from Belgium ($60 million) and Australia ($165 million). 

The 2015 deal to be finalized in Paris would commit developed and developing nations alike to actions to address greenhouse gas emissions beginning in 2020.

The underlying rationale for providing the climate aid is that developing nations are far more likely to take on actions and sign on to the global climate deal if industrialized nations help them prepare for rising sea levels and other climate impacts caused largely by the emissions of developed nations.
The late-2015 Paris accord, if agreed to, would be the first truly global climate accord to cut greenhouse gas emissions and slow the rise in global temperatures.

But there are other disputes over climate finance, including whether only the U.S., the European Union, and other industrialized economies should be ponying up such funds given that many rapidly developing nations are now major emitters.

China, which overtook the U.S. years ago as the world's top emitter, has been silent on offering a contribution to GCF even as a number of smaller developing nations have come forward to make pledges, albeit relatively modest sums.  (Bloomberg, 12/11/2-14)

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