Monday, September 28, 2009

Calls for massive financing kick off climate change talks in Thailand

Ron Corben in IPS: The need for adequate financing to assist developing countries in meeting the challenges of climate change was highlighted on Monday’s opening of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations in Thailand’s capital.

Noeleen Heyzer, executive secretary for the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), called for new efforts to meet the challenge of finance at the opening of the Bangkok talks. "We were able to find the money to prevent the meltdown of our financial system. We need to find the same commitment and resources to prevent a meltdown of the planet," Heyzer said.

The climate change conference that kicked off Sep. 28 in Bangkok is one of the final rounds of negotiations ahead of the Copenhagen summit in December, which is aimed at sealing a 'comprehensive, fair and effective deal' on climate change. Fears over meeting the massive financial burden to stem climate change come amid a sea change in the global economy and the present recession since the Bali conference on climate change in December 2007.

Billions of dollars have been poured into the global economy over the past year to thwart the worst of the global financial crisis triggered by the collapse of major financial institutions in the United States in 2008. The UNFCCC has estimated that the world needs to spend an additional 36 billion to 135 billion U.S. dollars each year by 2030 to address the wider impact of climate change.

In a strident address, Connie Hedagaard, the Minister on Climate and Energy in Denmark, due to host the December meeting, called on developed countries to "urgently commit to deliver fast-track finance." "Fast-track finance is necessary to respond to the urgent adaptation needs identified already to kickstart mitigation actions and capacity-building activities," she said….

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