UN Climate Talks Fail To Set Clear Finance Goals

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Member countries of the United Nations still don’t know what the plan is for financing global projects aimed at cutting carbon emissions. The point of last week’s talks was to set forth a plan, in which richer nations will assist poorer ones with funding sustainable energy projects, but apparently that wasn’t accomplished.

No plan decided upon

Reuters reports that nations in Africa, the Pacific region and South Asia are supposed to be on the receiving end of funding from richer nations. Wealthy countries agreed in 2009 to put $100 billion from public and private sources per year by 2020 to assist states that are vulnerable to severe weather and rising seas to develop more sources of clean energy.

The countries that have been expecting the financial assistance have been pressing for a date when the money will become available. Currently the donor countries are estimated to be giving amounts in the low tens of billions of dollars each year.

Support expected to ramp up

The donor countries have been expected to ramp up their support, and developing countries have also wanted to see some interim targets, although the U.S. and several European governments have declined to give interim targets. The tough economic climate has forced many countries to tighten up their spending.

It had been hoped the UN negotiations held this month in Peru would cement the process for raising the amount of climate financing in the next five years. These next years are important, as in the year 2020, a new environmental pact made by several countries will go into effect. That pact is expected to be finalized next year in Paris.

Climate finance language too vague

The language which came out of last week’s UN meetings is described by experts as being too vague and watered down from the language that had been used in previous drafts. They say it isn’t clear why the developing countries agreed to the watered down language, although some think the financing issues will become an important bargaining chip at the conference scheduled for next year in Paris.

This month’s meeting only gleaned an agreement that reaffirms the previously given $100 billion commitment and asks developing countries to “enhance the available quantitative and qualitative elements” in their next submissions about ramping up climate finance.

The document also states that countries should focus more on transparency and setting a schedule for the funding. However, it doesn’t say how developed countries will meet their promise, leaving countries that are supposed to be on the receiving end of the financing with more questions than answers.

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