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African countries accuse US and Japan of blocking talks on new financing mechanisms

Panama: Rich and poor nations clash over climate finance deal

African countries accuse US and Japan of blocking talks on new financing mechanisms


07 Oct 2011

Negotiators from developing and industrialised countries have again
clashed at the latest round of UN climate change negotiations in Panama,
with the group of African and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) accusing
the US and Japan of obstructing negotiations on proposed funding for
climate-related projects.

The group yesterday issued a statement complaining that industrialised
nations were refusing to negotiate on proposals to create a $100bn a
year global climate fund, arguing the commitment to create a fund was
finalised at last year’s Cancun Summit and responsibility for developing
proposals on how the fund will operate has been handed to a separate

This interpretation was rejected by the African and LDC group, which
accused rich nations of deliberately blocking the tabling of a text
proposing a series of potential financing mechanisms, while allowing
texts supporting issues favoured by industrialised countries to be put

“Agreement on long-term finance must be at the foundation of the deal in
Durban,” said Tosi Mpanu Mpanu from the Democratic Republic of Congo and
chair of the African Group of countries. “We have demonstrated good
faith in discussing new responsibilities for developing countries and
expect good faith from our partners in discussions on how to implement
their existing finance commitments.”

Industrialised countries have pledged to provide $30bn of fast-start
funding between 2011 and 2013 to support climate adaptation and
emission-reduction projects in developing countries.

However, there have been consistent complaints from developing countries
that not all the money has been awarded, and there has been absence of
transparency over how the cash has been distributed.

Poorer nations are also increasingly concerned that there are no firm
commitments on funding for post-2013 beyond a pledge delivered in Cancun
to investigate providing up to £100bn a year in funding from 2020.

The taskforce appointed to develop proposals for how this green fund
will operate is scheduled to present its initial recommendations at the
Durban Summit and is thought to be considering a wide range of financing
mechanisms, such as the expansion of the global carbon market or new
levies on aviation or financial transactions.

However, any of the proposals put forward by the group are expected to
be highly controversial and many are likely to be opposed by
cash-strapped governments.

The negotiations over proposed financing mechanisms represent yet
another sticking point for the long-running talks, after diplomats again
clashed over the future of the Kyoto Protocol at the latest week-long
meeting in Panama.



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