Monday, August 20, 2012

U.N. fund could ease route to 2015 global climate deal

Susanna Twidale in Reuters:  Board members of the U.N's Green Climate Fund (GCF) must rise above politics when they meet for the first time later this week to help channel $100 billion a year towards the world's poorest nations to fight the catastrophic effects of rising temperatures, and to act as a springboard to a global climate deal in 2015.

After a five-month delay board members of the U.N.'s GCF will finally take their seats on August 23 to begin thrashing out details on how the fund will operate, where it will be located and how it will dole out cash. "The role of the fund is extremely important. It has to show the world it is looking beyond the political bickerings of the UNFCCC," said Farrukh Khan, an alternate member of the board representing Pakistan.

U.N. climate negotiations have for years been marred by a lack of trust, with rich and poor countries trading accusations over broken promises while global greenhouse gas emissions rise.

The creation of the fund was hailed as one success to come out of U.N. climate talks in Cancun in 2010, but disagreements among regional groups of countries about who should sit on its governing panel three times delayed the first board meeting this year. "We need to build confidence in developed, developing countries and the private sector to show that the Fund is in good hands," Khan said.

At last year's high level climate talks in Durban negotiators agreed to work towards an international pact to cut emissions in both developed and developing countries to be formalized by 2015 and to start no later than 2020.

But progress was limited at an interim meeting in Bonn, Germany in May, with several developing countries accused by richer states of blocking the negotiations and others demanding more cash pledges before they agree to speed work on issues such as designing new types of carbon markets....

A NASA image of ponds on the Arctic ice

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