UN Climate Talks Fail to Reach Funding Agreements as Deadline Looms

by | Dec 7, 2012

With still no agreements on climate change compensation or funding for poor nations or even extending the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2013, the United Nations’ climate talks in Doha, scheduled to end tonight, are likely to continue at least through Saturday, according to media reports.

The Economic Times says consensus looks at least 48 hours away.

Finance is one of the most contentious outstanding issues, reports the BBC. At the 2009 talks in Copenhagen, rich nations pledged $100 billion annually by 2020 to help developing nations address climate change. The US won’t commit to the funding.

And in separate-but-similar heated discussions, rich counties are refusing to pay developing counties for “loss and damage” in vulnerable areas caused by climate change.

Bloomberg reports that EU governments have agreed to seek full banking of post-2012 unused UN emission rights in an effort to extend Kyoto. The 27 nations are pushing for acceptance of their position on selling unused Amount Assigned Units (AAUs) — handed out to 38 developed nations under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol — while limiting purchases to 2.5 percent.

While the prospects for a second Kyoto commitment period remain unclear, the talks have succeeded in producing some new funding pledges. The UK and Germany yesterday launched the $90 million Nationally Appropriate Mitigating Actions (NAMA) Facility, a project to help support developing countries’ shift to low-carbon technologies and business models.

Germany’s funding of €40 million ($51.6 million) is coming from the Special Energy and Climate Fund, and the UK will invest £25 million ($40 million) from the country’s International Climate Fund.

UK energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey and German environment minister Peter Altmaier, who announced the funding, said Mexico has already secured NAMA funding for a sustainable, energy-efficient housing project.

Additionally, Norway agreed to give $180 million to Brazil as part of a larger $1 billion to slow deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, Reuters reports. Norway also promised $1 billion in tropical rainforest protection to Indonesia, which, earlier this week, approved a conservation project that sets aside 200,000 acres. According to the news agency, must of the land is carbon-rich peat swamp forest at risk of being deforested for palm oil plantations.

And one issue politicians apparently can agree on is soot, also known as black carbon. The 25 members of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) have agreed to reduce atmospheric black carbon, methane and ozone, substances which are not currently regulated within the Kyoto protocol or its parent treaty, the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Guardian reports.

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