Thursday, December 17, 2009

US backs $100 billion yearly plan for climate adaptation

Janet Raloff in Science News: “The United States is prepared to work with other countries toward a goal of jointly mobilizing $100 billion a year by 2020 to address the climate change needs of developing countries,” says U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. The announcement came at a press conference, this morning, a few hours after Clinton arrived at the United Nations climate change meeting.

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, speaking a few hours later at the climate change meeting, said she "is glad to see today that the United States is willing to do so," since Germany and the European Union have already acknowledged their willingness to shoulder their fair share of a $100 billion a year climate adaptation and mitigation fund by 2020.

Indeed, Clinton's announcement indicates that "the United States has joined other rich economies to signal a greater seriousness about helping developing countries and building a more solid international deal,” according to Jennifer Morgan, climate-program director at World Resources Institute in Washington, D.C. However, Morgan added, more details are needed, "particularly whether this money will be additional to current funding. But this is a solid first step.”

Clinton ducked the issue of how much money the United States would contribute. She also said that U.S. commitment to such long-term financing of climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts in the hardest hit developing countries would be conditional upon other nations – including, but not only China – agreeing to “transparency” in the verification of their cuts in greenhouse gas emissions….

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