U.S. Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton looks on during a press
briefing at the climate summit
COPENHAGEN – U.S. Secretary of global warming.sought to put new life into flagging U.N. climate talks Thursday, announcing the U.S. would join others in raising $100 billion a year by 2020 to help poorer nations cope with
She made the offer contingent on reaching a broader agreement at the 193-nation conference that covers "transparency," a reference to U.S. insistence that China allow some international review of its actions controlling emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
The announcement pointed up the U.S.-Chinese diplomatic duel that has marked the two weeks of climate talks, which ground to a near-halt Wednesday as a chronic rich-poor divide flared into the open again, dimming the hopes of the Danish hosts for a comprehensive deal — a preliminary framework for a formal treaty next year on combating.
Environment ministers, having taken over from lower-level negotiators, got down to the final hours of talks Thursday in hopes of producing partial agreements to put before President Barack Obama, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and more than 110 other leaders at Friday's summit.
Such accords might include the issues raised by Clinton at a news conference here: long-term goals for financing climate aid, and monitoring of.
The Clinton offer represented the first time the U.S. government has publicly cited a figure in discussions here over long-term financing to help poorer countries build sea walls against rising oceans, cope with unusual drought and deal with other impacts of climate change, while also financing renewable-energy and similar projects.
The $100 billion, a number first suggested by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, falls short of what experts say would be needed. The World Bank and others estimate the long-term climate costs for poorer nations, from 2020 or so, would likely total hundreds of billions of dollars a year. China and other developing countries say the target should be in the range of $350 billion.
In addition, the developing nations want long-term financial support based on stable revenue sources, such as an aviation tax that might be the goal of future international climate talks. Read more...