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December 17, 2009

U.S. Pledges Climate Change Funds For Developing World

Climate Change: Contribution would be part of $100 billion annually from industrialized world by 2020

Cheryl Hogue

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The U.S. will join with other industrialized countries in providing $100 billion a year in climate-related assistance to the developing world by 2020, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced today.

Clinton spoke in Copenhagen at the penultimate day of a two-week U.N. meeting on climate change, where negotiators were feverishly working to complete a global agreement.

Her announcement marks an important move in the U.S. position in the international arena. It addresses a major concern of developing countries, who want assurances that they will get long-term financial assistance for adapting to the effects of global warming and for installing low-carbon technology. Clinton's pledge complements an offer the Obama Administration made earlier this year to provide short-term financing of up to $10 billion a year to developing countries in 2010, 2011, and 2012.

"For the first time the U.S. has publicly stated support for long-term global funding for developing world adaption and mitigation to climate change," said Martin Kaiser, Greenpeace International climate policy adviser. But Kaiser faulted the U.S. for failing to include an actual dollar figure for its contributions.

Clinton stressed that the U.S. financial offer would only apply if it was incorporated into a global agreement that includes two key provisions. One, Clinton said, is meaningful emission limitations by emerging economies, such as China, India, and Brazil. The other is a requirement for countries to provide reports on their emission actions to the world community for review and verification—conditions that negotiators in Copenhagen call transparency.

Fred Krupp, president of the advocacy group Environmental Defense Fund, applauded Clinton's focus on these conditions. "Transparency—knowing whether countries are living up to their commitments—is the linchpin of an effective global effort" to combat climate change, he said.

Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), chair of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence & Global Warming praised the U.S. offer. "If the United States does its fair share to provide funding to the developing world, I believe we will reap the lion's share of the benefits in the clean energy marketplace," he said.

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2011 American Chemical Society
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