Financing for poorer countries key to securing new climate deal – top UN official

24 July 2009

“Sealing the deal” on a climate change pact this December in Copenhagen, Denmark, hinges largely on securing the financing needed to help developing countries tackle global warming, the top United Nations climate change official said today.

With negotiations expected to wrap up at the end of the year in the Danish capital on a new treaty on curbing greenhouse gas emissions, “I don't think that there will be an agreement in Copenhagen without significant financial resources for both mitigation and adaptation,” said Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Developing nations are experiencing the impacts of climate change, including rising sea levels and incidents of drought, he told UN Radio.

But, the official added, they are also focusing on boosting their economic growth to pull themselves out of poverty, requiring financial help to acquire 'green' technology.

Countries are currently mulling over a 200-page text, which “one would almost say unmanageable,” that must now be pared down to ensure that the main elements of the agreement are included, he said.

Mr. de Boer voiced optimism that an agreement will be reached in Copenhagen, noting that “the international community has been shocked by the messages coming from the scientific community,” with there being a “strong willingness to act on this issue.”

Currently in China, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has pressed its leaders to use its position as a global power to ensure the Copenhagen talks are a success.

“Major emerging economies, including China, have taken great strides. I am impressed by China's efforts. In the areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency, for example, remarkable progress is already being made. I urge you to build on this progress, including through energy and carbon intensity targets,” he said in Beijing.

“Strong signals from China on mitigation actions announced before Copenhagen will help push the negotiating process forward. They can also direct responsibility to other key countries to do more.”

Mr. Ban has also scheduled a summit of world leaders at UN Headquarters in New York on 22 September to try to accelerate momentum towards obtaining a deal in December.

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