Financing to Become Critical for Climate Treaty

It is clear what needs to happen to get things moving again. The main sticking point is cash. The rich countries of the MEF have already accepted they must provide money to enable developing countries to grow cleanly and adapt to the effects of climate change already putting millions of lives at risk. It's time for them to stop shirking their responsibility to do so and put real money on the table – at least $200bn annually – to show we're serious about enabling the massive transformation to the clean future we'll be in deep trouble without.

So far, the government has pushed for much of this money to be supplied by a global market in carbon credits – yet this will allow rich countries to offload the burden of cutting carbon emissions on to the world's poorest while generating huge profits for banks, investment funds and financiers piling into a "climate cash cow" , reports.

It was also reported, it now appears there is little chance that the climate change negotiations in Copenhagen in December will produce a comprehensive and binding new treaty on global warming.

Among the chief barriers to a comprehensive deal in Copenhagen is Congress’s apparent inability to enact climate and energy legislation that would set binding targets for greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Without such a commitment, other nations are loath to make their own pledges.

The chief American climate negotiator, Todd Stern, has said that he will not go beyond what Congress is willing to endorse. His deputy, Jonathan Pershing, affirmed this last week at a negotiators’ meeting in Bangkok. “We are not going to be part of an agreement we cannot meet,” he said, The New York Times reports.

Meanwhile, Australia will face renewed pressure to commit funds to help poor nations tackle climate change. Leaked European Union documents show it is set to announce a multibillion-dollar plan to shape a proposed Copenhagen treaty.

The draft EU proposal, obtained by The Age, will be discussed by EU finance ministers in Luxembourg this week. It estimates wealthy governments must commit 5 billion to 7 billion euros a year until 2012 to help the developing world cut emissions.

The total cost would rise to about 100 billion euros in 2020. Governments would be expected to commit up to half, with the rest to come from business investment and international carbon markets.

A spokeswoman for Climate Change Minister Penny Wong said financing was critical to securing an effective political agreement in Copenhagen, and making the deal was clearly in the national interest.

''The Government is actively engaged, through the G20 process and UN negotiations, in developing a credible approach to climate change financing,'' she said , The Age reports.

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