(Published by Thomson Reuters Point Carbon)
CRYSTAL CITY, Virginia, Nov 18 – Some developing countries should contribute money to a $100 billion per year climate fund to help poor nations combat climate change, the lead U.S. climate negotiator said on Friday.
Todd Stern, the U.S. special envoy on climate change, told reporters although rich countries are expected to contribute to the Green Climate Fund, the door has been left wide open for some advanced emerging economies to chip in.
Speaking after the conclusion of the latest Major Economies Forum, a meeting of the world’s 17 biggest emitters and other key countries, Stern said certain countries are likely to contribute to the UN fund “right off the bat”.
“It certainly makes sense for that to happen,” he said.
Stern added that when Mexican President Felipe Calderon first proposed the Green Fund concept several years ago, he had envisioned that all countries — developed and developing — would contribute their share to the fund.
Although that feature has been dropped from the fund’s current design, which is expected to be adopted at the upcoming climate summit in Durban, South Africa, Stern expects some emerging economies to start pitching in the “near term”.
Last month, Norway and Bangladesh — some of the world’s richest and poorest countries — joined forces to call on countries such as Brazil and China to contribute to the Green Climate Fund.
Norway’s lead climate negotiator had said in Brussels that while no one expects or requires emerging economies to “come up with the money tomorrow”, there is an expectation that they will soon begin to consider pledging money.
The calls signal a shift in negotiations and reflect China and Brazil’s growing economic standing in climate talks, where they were previously listed as developing nations and were not bound to cut emissions under the Kyoto Protocol.
Earlier this week, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged governments in rich nations to work around troubled economic times and scale up donations to a global climate change fund that is at risk of becoming an “empty shell”.
Negotiators from around the world are due to meet in Durban at the end of this month to try to work on a new deal to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.
Expectations are low that a binding deal will emerge, as rifts between countries have stifled progress.
The European Union, Russia and some other major economies — bar the United States — have supported the need to agree on a roadmap with timetables to agreeing a framework for a legally binding climate deal that includes all major emitters.
Stern said the United States has not ruled out negotiating a future climate agreement, but said that the emission-reduction pledges formalized in last year’s Cancun Agreements are still in place until 2020.
“We have a view that it is premature to decide what the ultimate legal form will be until you have a sense of what the content may be,” he said.
(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Dale Hudson)