Monday, December 15, 2008

Recriminations over adaptation fund overshadow Poznan close

Business Green: It was a case of two steps forward, two steps back for international negotiations on climate change this weekend, after the announcement that the EU had reached a deal to finalise its own carbon legislation was followed by a series of recriminations at the close of the UN's Poznan conference. UN officials maintained that the meeting in Poland had met all the goals set for the conference, and expressed confidence that the negotiations were on track for a successful completion this time next year in Copenhagen.

…However, the one concrete decision to arise from the conference prompted stark disagreements between developed and developing countries, after the UN announced the launch of an adaptation fund for developing economies initially worth about $80m (£53m) a year and potentially rising to $300m a year by 2012. The fund will draw on cash raised through a two per cent levy on the CDM.

Delegates from developing economies slammed the fund as being derisory, particularly given the UN's own estimates claim that poorer nations will require between $50bn and $80bn to adapt to the worst effects of climate change. Echoing the comments of many negotiators from developing countries, Colombian Environment minister Juan Lozano said he was "so sad and so disappointed" by the deal.

"The human side of climate change is the suffering of our orphans and our victims and that was not considered here," he said. "It's a bad signal on the road to Copenhagen".
However, speaking to reporters after the close of the talks late on Saturday night, the UN's top climate change official Yvo de Boer hinted that the relatively small size of the adaptation fund could represent a negotiating gambit from the developed economies designed to extract greater concessions on emissions targets from emerging economies.

…But despite the various recriminations, optimism remained that the pace of the talks can be accelerated ahead of a deal being done in Copenhagen….

Romanino, Greed allegory, 1531-32, Castello del Buonconsiglio, Trento, shot by Laurom, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 License

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