COP 17: Financing battle emerges

2011-11-29 22:50
Durban - International climate negotiators were at odds on Tuesday on how to raise billions of dollars to help poor countries cope with global warming.

A major shipping group is willing to help, endorsing a proposal for a carbon tax on vessels carrying the world's trade.

Details of the tussle over the funding emerged as the UN's weather agency reported that 2011 was tied as the 10th hottest year since records began in 1850.

Arctic sea ice, a barometer for the entire planet, had shrunk to a record low volume, said the World Meteorological Organisation.

Putting the final touches on what's known as the Green Climate Fund is a top issue at the 192-party UN climate conference that was in its second day on Tuesday in Durban, and one of the keys of a strategy to contain greenhouse gas emissions and keep global warming within manageable limits.

The two-week conference is to finalise a plan on managing climate finances, due to scale up to $100bn annually by 2020.

The International Chamber of Shipping, representing about 80% of the world's merchant marine, joined forces with aid groups Oxfam and WWF International on Tuesday to urge the conference to adopt guidelines for a levy on carbon emissions by ships.

Details of any levy would be worked out by the International Maritime Organisation, the UN agency regulating international shipping, the aid groups and the chamber said in a joint statement.

Bunker fuels

"Shipping has to take responsibility for the emissions and get to grips and drive them down, and they see that the best way to do that it to have a universal charge applied to all ships that is going to generate billions of dollars" to fight climate change, Tim Gore of Oxfam said on the sidelines of the climate conference.

About 50 000 cargo ships carry 90% of world trade, and most ships are powered by heavily polluting oil known as bunker fuels.

Last July the UN maritime organisation decided that new cargo vessels must meet energy efficiency standards and cut pollution.

It was the first climate change measure to apply equally to countries regardless of whether they are from the industrialised or developing world.

At the conference, differences came into focus over the Green Climate Fund.

Delegations disagreed about how independent the fund will be, by whom it will be guided over the years, and whether the bulk of the money will come from public funds and government aid or from private sources and investments.

A 40-nation committee worked on a draft agreement in several lengthy meetings over the last year, but a consensus at the final meeting last month was blocked by objections from the US and Saudi Arabia. Now negotiators in Durban must settle the final disputes.

"We are going to have a very thorough and open discussion on that very contentious paper," said Pedro Pedroso, the delegate from Cuba.

'Issues'

US delegate Jonathan Pershing said on Monday the US has "substantive concerns" about the committee's plan, but "we believe these issues can be fixed".

Washington wants to ensure that private investments are not hamstrung by bureaucracy and that they can bypass any approval process by governments.

The world temperatures report released on Tuesday provided a bleak backdrop to negotiators seeking ways to limit pollution blamed for global warming.

2011 has been a year of extreme weather, the WMO reported.

Drought in East Africa has left tens of thousands dead; lethal floods submerged large areas of Asia; the US suffered 14 separate weather catastrophes with damage topping $1bn each, including severe drought in Texas and the southwest, heavy floods in the northeast and the Mississippi valley, and the most active tornado season ever known.

"The science is solid and proves unequivocally that the world is warming," said RDJ Lengoasa, the WMO's deputy director, and human activity is a significant contributor.

"Climate change is real, and we are already observing its manifestations in weather and climate patterns around the world," he said.

Read more on:    un  |  wwf  |  wmo  |  durban  |  climate change  |  cop 17
NEXT ON NEWS24X

linking and moving

2015-04-22 07:36

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
29 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Autobraking: See just how good they are!

Just how good are automatic brakes on cars these days? Two VW models have been praised by top UK research centre Thatcham. Find out why...

 

Stay safe

Pro's and con's of accredited driver-training
Juvenile pillion riders? Play safe...
Need a family ride? SA's top Mommy Cars
Mom's driving-school dream come true
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is a good day to go large with your significant other. Let go of obligations, expectations and chores and let the day play...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.